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Comprehensive Mutational and Phenotypic Characterization of New Metastatic Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cell Lines Reveal Novel Drug Susceptibilities


Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is a common skin cancer. Most patients who develop metastases (2-5%) present with advanced disease that requires a combination of radical surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy. There are few effective therapies for refractory disease. In this study, we describe novel patient-derived cell lines from cSCC metastases of the head and neck (designated UW-CSCC1 and UW-CSCC2). The cell lines genotypically and phenotypically resembled the original patient tumor and were tumorogenic in mice. Differences in cancer-related gene expression between the tumor and cell lines after various culturing conditions could be largely reversed by xenografting and reculturing. The novel drug susceptibilities of UW-CSCC1 and an irradiated subclone UW-CSCC1-R to drugs targeting cell cycle, PI3K/AKT/mTOR, and DNA damage pathways were observed using high-throughput anti-cancer and kinase-inhibitor compound libraries, which correlate with either copy number variations, targetable mutations and/or the upregulation of gene expression. A secondary screen of top hits in all three cell lines including PIK3CA-targeting drugs supports the utility of targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in this disease. UW-CSCC cell lines are thus useful preclinical models for determining targetable pathways and candidate therapeutics.

Type Journal
ISBN 1422-0067 (Electronic) 1422-0067 (Linking)
Authors Perry, J.; Ashford, B.; Thind, A. S.; Gauthier, M. E.; Minaei, E.; Major, G.; Iyer, N. G.; Gupta, R.; Clark, J.; Ranson, M.
Published Date 2020-12-15
Published Volume 21
Published Issue 24
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.3390/ijms21249536
URL link to publisher's version