Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
Ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC) is a rare, chemo-resistant subtype of ovarian cancer. To identify novel therapeutic targets and combination therapies for OCCC, we subjected a set of patient-derived ovarian cancer cell lines to arrayed high throughput siRNA and drug screening. The results indicated OCCC cells are vulnerable to knockdown of epigenetic gene targets such as bromodomain and extra-terminal domain (BET) proteins BRD2 and BRD3. Subsequent RNA interference assays, as well as BET inhibitor treatments validated these BET proteins as potential therapeutic targets. Because development of resistance to single targeted agents is common, we next performed sensitizer drug screens to identify potential combination therapies with the BET inhibitor CPI0610. Several PI3K or AKT inhibitors were among the top drug combinations identified and subsequent work showed CPI0610 synergized with alpelisib or MK2206 by inducing p53-independent apoptosis. We further verified synergy between CPI0610 and PI3K-AKT pathway inhibitors alpelisib, MK2206, or ipatasertib in tumor organoids obtained directly from OCCC patients. These findings indicate further preclinical evaluation of BET inhibitors, alone or in combination with PI3K-AKT inhibitors for OCCC is warranted.