Background: Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common solid tumor found in children, and deletions within the 11q region are observed in 11% to 48% of these tumors. Notably, such tumors are associated with poor prognosis; however, little is known regarding the molecular targets located in 11q. Methods: Genomic alterations of ATM, DNA damage response (DDR)–associated genes located in 11q (MRE11A, H2AFX, and CHEK1), and BRCA1, BARD1, CHEK2, MDM2, and TP53 were investigated in 45 NB-derived cell lines and 237 fresh tumor samples. PARP (poly [ADP-ribose] polymerase) inhibitor sensitivity of NB was investigated in in vitro and in vivo xenograft models. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results: Among 237 fresh tumor samples, ATM, MRE11A, H2AFX, and/or CHEK1 loss or imbalance in 11q was detected in 20.7% of NBs, 89.8% of which were stage III or IV. An additional 7.2% contained ATM rare single nucleotide variants (SNVs). Rare SNVs in DDR-associated genes other than ATM were detected in 26.4% and were mutually exclusive. Overall, samples with SNVs and/or copy number alterations in these genes accounted for 48.4%. ATM-defective cells are known to exhibit dysfunctions in homologous recombination repair, suggesting a potential for synthetic lethality by PARP inhibition. Indeed, 83.3% NB-derived cell lines exhibited sensitivity to PARP inhibition. In addition, NB growth was markedly attenuated in the xenograft group receiving PARP inhibitors (sham-treated vs olaprib-treated group; mean [SD] tumor volume of sham-treated vs olaprib-treated groups = 7377  m3 vs 298  m3, P = .001, n = 4). Conclusions: Genomic alterations of DDR-associated genes including ATM, which regulates homologous recombination repair, were observed in almost half of NBs, suggesting that synthetic lethality could be induced by treatment with a PARP inhibitor. Indeed, DDR-defective NB cell lines were sensitive to PARP inhibitors. Thus, PARP inhibitors represent candidate NB therapeutics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research