Dr. Neal holds a medical degree and a doctoral degree in Tumor Cell Biology from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. Subsequently, he completed a fellowship in oncology, rotating through the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Division of Oncology at the Stanford Cancer Institute at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Dr Neal’s primary clinical interest is in thoracic oncology. In addition to maintaining an active practice, he focuses on the design and conduct of clinical trials involving targeted therapies and immunotherapy for lung cancer and mesothelioma. He has published dozens of articles in the field of thoracic oncology, including in Lancet Oncology, Nature Medicine, and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. He is a member of the International Association of the Study of Lung Cancer (IALSC), is a study chair and thoracic core committee member within the ECOG-ACRIN cooperative group, and has presented at a number of American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meetings.

Clinical Focus

  • Cancer > Thoracic Oncology
  • Thoracic Oncology
  • Lung Cancer
  • Medical Oncology

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Medical Education:Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (2004) IL
  • Fellowship:Dana Farber Cancer Institute Hematology Oncology Fellowship (2010) MA
  • Residency:Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (2007) MA
  • Board Certification: Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine (2010)
  • Board Certification: Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine (2007)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has historically been treated with combination chemotherapy. Over the last few years, molecular testing of NSCLC has revealed the presence of driving oncogenic mutations in a subset of tumors of adenocarcinoma histology, including EGFR, KRAS, and ALK. While chemotherapy is still effective for these patients, targeted therapies appear to be more specific with fewer side effects. For example, erlotinib treatment of EGFR mutant tumors results in better response rates and progression-free survival times than chemotherapy, and the investigational drug crizotinib is targeted against tumors harboring ALK translocations. My clinical and research interest is to apply evolving technologies to the diagnosis, characterization, and individualized treatment of NSCLC.

2017-18 Courses

All Publications

  • Targeting RET in Patients With RET-Rearranged Lung Cancers: Results From the Global, Multicenter RET Registry JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY Gautschi, O., Milia, J., Filleron, T., Wolf, J., Carbone, D. P., Owen, D., Camidge, R., Narayanan, V., Doebele, R. C., Besse, B., Remon-Masip, J., Janne, P. A., Awad, M. M., Peled, N., Byoung, C., Karp, D. D., van den Heuvel, M., Wakelee, H. A., Neal, J. W., Mok, T. S., Yang, J. C., Ou, S. I., Pall, G., Froesch, P., Zalcman, G., Gandara, D. R., Riess, J., Velcheti, V., Zeidler, K., Diebold, J., Frueh, M., Michels, S., Monnet, I., Popat, S., Rosell, R., Karachaliou, N., Rothschild, S. I., Shih, J., Warth, A., Muley, T., Cabillic, F., Mazieres, J., Drilon, A. 2017; 35 (13): 1403-?


    Purpose In addition to prospective trials for non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) that are driven by less common genomic alterations, registries provide complementary information on patient response to targeted therapies. Here, we present the results of an international registry of patients with RET-rearranged NSCLCs, providing the largest data set, to our knowledge, on outcomes of RET-directed therapy thus far. Methods A global, multicenter network of thoracic oncologists identified patients with pathologically confirmed NSCLC that harbored a RET rearrangement. Molecular profiling was performed locally by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, fluorescence in situ hybridization, or next-generation sequencing. Anonymized data-clinical, pathologic, and molecular features-were collected centrally and analyzed by an independent statistician. Best response to RET tyrosine kinase inhibition administered outside of a clinical trial was determined by RECIST v1.1. Results By April 2016, 165 patients with RET-rearranged NSCLC from 29 centers across Europe, Asia, and the United States were accrued. Median age was 61 years (range, 29 to 89 years). The majority of patients were never smokers (63%) with lung adenocarcinomas (98%) and advanced disease (91%). The most frequent rearrangement was KIF5B-RET (72%). Of those patients, 53 received one or more RET tyrosine kinase inhibitors in sequence: cabozantinib (21 patients), vandetanib (11 patients), sunitinib (10 patients), sorafenib (two patients), alectinib (two patients), lenvatinib (two patients), nintedanib (two patients), ponatinib (two patients), and regorafenib (one patient). The rate of any complete or partial response to cabozantinib, vandetanib, and sunitinib was 37%, 18%, and 22%, respectively. Further responses were observed with lenvantinib and nintedanib. Median progression-free survival was 2.3 months (95% CI, 1.6 to 5.0 months), and median overall survival was 6.8 months (95% CI, 3.9 to 14.3 months). Conclusion Available multikinase inhibitors had limited activity in patients with RET-rearranged NSCLC in this retrospective study. Further investigation of the biology of RET-rearranged lung cancers and identification of new targeted therapeutics will be required to improve outcomes for these patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1200/JCO.2016.70.9352

    View details for Web of Science ID 000400335500005

    View details for PubMedID 28447912

  • Case Series of MET Exon 14 Skipping Mutation-positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers and Response to Crizotinib. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics Wang, S. X., Zhang, B., Wakelee, H. A., Diehn, M., Kunder, C., Neal, J. W. 2017; 98 (1): 239-?

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2017.01.170

    View details for PubMedID 28587017

  • Identification of a Novel Somatic Mutation Leading to Allele Dropout for EGFR L858R Genotyping in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Molecular diagnosis & therapy Costa, H. A., Neal, J. W., Bustamante, C. D., Zehnder, J. L. 2017


    While PCR-based genotyping methods abound in molecular testing for lung cancer therapy, these approaches may not provide the robust sensitivity to detect accurate genotypes in a variable cancer genomic background.Here, we describe a study of a clinical tumor specimen containing a novel somatic single nucleotide variant that caused allele drop-out in EGFR L858R genotyping, resulting in a false-negative interpretation and impacting patient clinical management.We demonstrate that a subsequent unbiased next-generation sequencing approach correctly identified the driver mutation, and therefore may be more reliable for somatic variant detection.These findings magnify the potential pitfalls of PCR amplification-based approaches and stress the importance of unbiased and sensitive molecular testing strategies for therapeutic marker detection as molecular testing becomes the standard for determining clinical management of cancer patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s40291-017-0275-y

    View details for PubMedID 28357677

  • Molecular profiling of single circulating tumor cells from lung cancer patients PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Park, S., Wong, D. J., Ooi, C. C., Kurtz, D. M., Vermesh, O., Aalipour, A., Suh, S., Pian, K. L., Chabon, J. J., Lee, S. H., Jamali, M., Say, C., Carter, J. N., Lee, L. P., Kuschner, W. G., Schwartz, E. J., Shrager, J. B., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A., Diehn, M., Nair, V. S., Wang, S. X., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 113 (52): E8379-E8386


    Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are established cancer biomarkers for the "liquid biopsy" of tumors. Molecular analysis of single CTCs, which recapitulate primary and metastatic tumor biology, remains challenging because current platforms have limited throughput, are expensive, and are not easily translatable to the clinic. Here, we report a massively parallel, multigene-profiling nanoplatform to compartmentalize and analyze hundreds of single CTCs. After high-efficiency magnetic collection of CTC from blood, a single-cell nanowell array performs CTC mutation profiling using modular gene panels. Using this approach, we demonstrated multigene expression profiling of individual CTCs from non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with remarkable sensitivity. Thus, we report a high-throughput, multiplexed strategy for single-cell mutation profiling of individual lung cancer CTCs toward minimally invasive cancer therapy prediction and disease monitoring.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1608461113

    View details for Web of Science ID 000391090800003

    View details for PubMedID 27956614

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5206556

  • Erlotinib, cabozantinib, or erlotinib plus cabozantinib as second-line or third-line treatment of patients with EGFR wild-type advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (ECOG-ACRIN 1512): a randomised, controlled, open-label, multicentre, phase 2 trial LANCET ONCOLOGY Neal, J. W., Dahlberg, S. E., Wakelee, H. A., Aisner, S. C., Bowden, M., Huang, Y., Carbone, D. P., Gerstner, G. J., Lerner, R. E., Rubin, J. L., Owonikoko, T. K., Stella, P. J., Steen, P. D., Khalid, A. A., Ramalingam, S. S. 2016; 17 (12): 1661-1671


    Erlotinib is approved for the treatment of all patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but is most active in the treatment of EGFR mutant NSCLC. Cabozantinib, a small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor, targets MET, VEGFR, RET, ROS1, and AXL, which are implicated in lung cancer tumorigenesis. We compared the efficacy of cabozantinib alone or in combination with erlotinib versus erlotinib alone in patients with EGFR wild-type NSCLC.This three group, randomised, controlled, open-label, multicentre, phase 2 trial was done in 37 academic and community oncology practices in the USA. Patients were eligible if they had received one or two previous treatments for advanced non-squamous, EGFR wild-type, NSCLC. Patients were stratified by performance status and line of therapy, and randomly assigned using permuted blocks within strata to receive open-label oral daily dosing of erlotinib (150 mg), cabozantinib (60 mg), or erlotinib (150 mg) and cabozantinib (40 mg). Imaging was done every 8 weeks. At the time of radiographic progression, there was optional crossover for patients in either single-drug group to receive combination treatment. The primary endpoint was to compare progression-free survival in patients given erlotinib alone versus cabozantinib alone, and in patients given erlotinib alone versus the combination of erlotinib plus cabozantinib. We assessed the primary endpoint in the per-protocol population, which was defined as all patients who were eligible, randomly assigned, and received at least one dose of treatment. The safety analysis population included all patients who received study treatment irrespective of eligibility. This trial is registered with, number NCT01708954.Between Feb 7, 2013, and July 1, 2014, we enrolled and randomly assigned 42 patients to erlotinib treatment, 40 patients to cabozantinib treatment, and 43 patients to erlotinib plus cabozantinib treatment, of whom 111 (89%) in total were included in the primary analysis (erlotinib [n=38], cabozantinib [n=38], erlotinib plus cabozantinib [n=35]). Compared with erlotinib alone (median 1·8 months [95% CI 1·7-2·2]), progression-free survival was significantly improved in the cabozantinib group (4·3 months [3·6-7·4]; hazard ratio [HR] 0·39, 80% CI 0·27-0·55; one-sided p=0·0003) and in the erlotinib plus cabozantinib group (4·7 months [2·4-7·4]; HR 0·37, 0·25-0·53; one-sided p=0·0003). Among participants included in the safety analysis of the erlotinib (n=40), cabozantinib (n=40), and erlotinib plus cabozantinib (n=39) groups, the most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were diarrhoea (three [8%] cases in the erlotinib group vs three [8%] in the cabozantinib group vs 11 [28%] in the erlotinib plus cabozantinib group), hypertension (none vs ten [25%] vs one [3%]), fatigue (five [13%] vs six [15%] vs six [15%]), oral mucositis (none vs four [10%] vs one [3%]), and thromboembolic event (none vs three [8%] vs two [5%]). One death due to respiratory failure occurred in the cabozantinib group, deemed possibly related to either drug, and one death due to pneumonitis occurred in the erlotinib plus cabozantinib group, deemed related to either drug or the combination.Despite its small sample size, this trial showed that, in patients with EGFR wild-type NSCLC, cabozantinib alone or combined with erlotinib has clinically meaningful, superior efficacy to that of erlotinib alone, with additional toxicity that was generally manageable. Cabozantinib-based regimens are promising for further investigation in this patient population.ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30561-7

    View details for Web of Science ID 000389537700035

    View details for PubMedID 27825638

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5154681

  • Acute, Unilateral Breast Toxicity From Gemcitabine in the Setting of Thoracic Inlet Obstruction. Journal of oncology practice / American Society of Clinical Oncology Weiskopf, K., Creighton, D., Lew, T., Caswell, J. L., Ouyang, D., Shah, A. T., Hofmann, L. V., Neal, J. W., Telli, M. L. 2016; 12 (8): 763-764

    View details for DOI 10.1200/JOP.2016.014241

    View details for PubMedID 27511721

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5012631

  • Concordant and Discordant EGFR Mutations in Patients With Multifocal Adenocarcinomas: Implications for EGFR-Targeted Therapy. Clinical therapeutics Chuang, J. C., Shrager, J. B., Wakelee, H. A., Neal, J. W. 2016; 38 (7): 1567-1576


    Adenocarcinoma remains the most common subtype of lung cancer in the United States. Most patients present with tumors that are invasive and often metastatic, but in some patients, multiple precursor in situ or minimally invasive adenocarcinoma tumors develop that can be synchronous and metachronous. These precursor lesions harbor the same spectrum of genetic mutations found in purely invasive adenocarcinomas, such as EGFR, KRAS, and p53 mutations. It is less clear, however, whether separate lesions in patients who present with multifocal disease share common underlying genetic driver mutations.Here we review the relevant literature on molecular driver alterations in adenocarcinoma precursor lesions. We then report 4 patients with multifocal EGFR mutant adenocarcinomas in whom we performed molecular testing on 2 separate lesions.In 2 of these patients, the mutations are concordant, and in 2 patients, the mutations are discordant. A review of the literature demonstrates increasing evidence that lesions with discordant mutations may confer a more favorable prognosis because they are unlikely to represent metastases.Our findings suggest that the emergence of the dominant EGFR driver alteration is often independent between lesions in patients with multifocal adenocarcinomas, and thus the same targeted therapy may not be effective for all lesions. However, genetic testing of multiple lesions can help to distinguish separate primary tumors from metastatic disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.clinthera.2016.06.005

    View details for PubMedID 27368115

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4985173

  • Circulating tumour DNA profiling reveals heterogeneity of EGFR inhibitor resistance mechanisms in lung cancer patients NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Chabon, J. J., Simmons, A. D., Lovejoy, A. F., Esfahani, M. S., Newman, A. M., Haringsma, H. J., Kurtz, D. M., Stehr, H., Scherer, F., Karlovich, C. A., Harding, T. C., Durkin, K. A., Otterson, G. A., Purcell, W. T., Camidge, D. R., Goldman, J. W., Sequist, L. V., Piotrowska, Z., Wakelee, H. A., Neal, J. W., Alizadeh, A. A., Diehn, M. 2016; 7


    Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) analysis facilitates studies of tumour heterogeneity. Here we employ CAPP-Seq ctDNA analysis to study resistance mechanisms in 43 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with the third-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor rociletinib. We observe multiple resistance mechanisms in 46% of patients after treatment with first-line inhibitors, indicating frequent intra-patient heterogeneity. Rociletinib resistance recurrently involves MET, EGFR, PIK3CA, ERRB2, KRAS and RB1. We describe a novel EGFR L798I mutation and find that EGFR C797S, which arises in ∼33% of patients after osimertinib treatment, occurs in <3% after rociletinib. Increased MET copy number is the most frequent rociletinib resistance mechanism in this cohort and patients with multiple pre-existing mechanisms (T790M and MET) experience inferior responses. Similarly, rociletinib-resistant xenografts develop MET amplification that can be overcome with the MET inhibitor crizotinib. These results underscore the importance of tumour heterogeneity in NSCLC and the utility of ctDNA-based resistance mechanism assessment.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms11815

    View details for Web of Science ID 000378007200001

    View details for PubMedID 27283993

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4906406

  • Integrated digital error suppression for improved detection of circulating tumor DNA NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY Newman, A. M., Lovejoy, A. F., Klass, D. M., Kurtz, D. M., Chabon, J. J., Scherer, F., Stehr, H., Liu, C. L., Bratman, S. V., Say, C., Zhou, L., Carter, J. N., West, R. B., Sledge, G. W., Shrager, J. B., Loo, B. W., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A., Diehn, M., Alizadeh, A. A. 2016; 34 (5): 547-555


    High-throughput sequencing of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) promises to facilitate personalized cancer therapy. However, low quantities of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in the blood and sequencing artifacts currently limit analytical sensitivity. To overcome these limitations, we introduce an approach for integrated digital error suppression (iDES). Our method combines in silico elimination of highly stereotypical background artifacts with a molecular barcoding strategy for the efficient recovery of cfDNA molecules. Individually, these two methods each improve the sensitivity of cancer personalized profiling by deep sequencing (CAPP-Seq) by about threefold, and synergize when combined to yield ∼15-fold improvements. As a result, iDES-enhanced CAPP-Seq facilitates noninvasive variant detection across hundreds of kilobases. Applied to non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, our method enabled biopsy-free profiling of EGFR kinase domain mutations with 92% sensitivity and >99.99% specificity at the variant level, and with 90% sensitivity and 96% specificity at the patient level. In addition, our approach allowed monitoring of NSCLC ctDNA down to 4 in 10(5) cfDNA molecules. We anticipate that iDES will aid the noninvasive genotyping and detection of ctDNA in research and clinical settings.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nbt.3520

    View details for Web of Science ID 000375735000036

    View details for PubMedID 27018799

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4907374

  • Long-Term Survival of a Patient With Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Harboring a V600E Mutation in the BRAF Oncogene. Clinical lung cancer Myall, N. J., Neal, J. W., Cho-Phan, C. D., Zhou, L. Y., Stehr, H., Zhou, L., Diehn, M., Wakelee, H. A. 2016; 17 (2): e17-21

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cllc.2015.12.001

    View details for PubMedID 26776917

  • Pruritus as a Paraneoplastic Symptom of Thymoma JOURNAL OF THORACIC ONCOLOGY Padda, S. K., Shrager, J. B., Riess, J. W., Pagtama, J. Y., Tisch, A. J., Kwong, B. Y., Liang, Y., Schwartz, E. J., Loo, B. W., Neal, J. W., Hardy, R., Wakelee, H. A. 2015; 10 (11): E110-E112

    View details for DOI 10.1097/JTO.0000000000000623

    View details for Web of Science ID 000363312300001

    View details for PubMedID 26536199

  • Crizotinib as first line therapy for advanced ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancers. Translational lung cancer research Chuang, J. C., Neal, J. W. 2015; 4 (5): 639-641

    View details for DOI 10.3978/j.issn.2218-6751.2015.03.06

    View details for PubMedID 26629437

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4630528

  • Adjuvant therapy for EGFR mutant and ALK positive NSCLC: Current data and future prospects. Lung cancer Chuang, J. C., Neal, J. W., Niu, X., Wakelee, H. A. 2015; 90 (1): 1-7


    Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) against targetable mutations such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) are highly effective in treating advanced stage lung cancers harboring such mutations. Questions remain, however, about whether these agents can improve cure rates for early stage lung cancers in the adjuvant setting. Here, we examine the current data and ongoing trials addressing this issue.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.lungcan.2015.07.016

    View details for PubMedID 26275476

  • Rapid Onset of Retinal Toxicity From High-Dose Hydroxychloroquine Given for Cancer Therapy. American journal of ophthalmology Leung, L. B., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A., Sequist, L. V., Marmor, M. F. 2015; 160 (4): 799-805 e1

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ajo.2015.07.012

    View details for PubMedID 26189086

  • Management of Dermatologic Complications of Lung Cancer Therapies. Current treatment options in oncology Pugliese, S. B., Neal, J. W., Kwong, B. Y. 2015; 16 (10): 368-?

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11864-015-0368-y

    View details for PubMedID 26338208

  • Dovitinib and erlotinib in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer: A drug-drug interaction LUNG CANCER Das, M., Padda, S. K., Frymoyer, A., Zhou, L., Riess, J. W., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A. 2015; 89 (3): 280-286


    Erlotinib is a FDA approved small molecule inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor and dovitinib is a novel small molecule inhibitor of fibroblast growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor. This phase 1 trial was conducted to characterize the safety and determine the maximum tolerated dose of erlotinib plus dovitinib in patients with previously treated metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.Escalating dose cohorts of daily erlotinib and dovitinib dosed 5 days on/2 days off, starting after a 2-week lead-in of erlotinib alone, were planned. A potential pharmacokinetic interaction was hypothesized as dovitinib induces CYP1A1/1A2. Only cohort 1 (150mg erlotinib+300mg dovitinib) and cohort -1 (150mg erlotinib+200mg dovitinib) enrolled. Plasma concentrations of erlotinib were measured pre- and post-dovitinib exposure.Two of three patients in cohort 1 had a DLT (grade 3 transaminitis and grade 3 syncope). Two of 6 patients in cohort -1 had a DLT (grade 3 pulmonary embolism and grade 3 fatigue); thus, the study was terminated. Erlotinib exposure (average Cmax 2308±698ng/ml and AUC 0-24 41,030±15,577 ng×h/ml) approximated previous reports in the six patients with pharmacokinetic analysis. However, erlotinib Cmax and AUC0-24 decreased significantly by 93% (p=0.02) and 97% (p<0.01), respectively, during dovitinib co-administration.This small study demonstrated considerable toxicity and a significant pharmacokinetic interaction with a marked decrease in erlotinib exposure in the presence of dovitinib, likely mediated through CYP1A1/1A2 induction. Given the toxicity and the pharmacokinetic interaction, further investigation with this drug combination will not be pursued.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.lungcan.2015.06.011

    View details for Web of Science ID 000360513200010

  • Relationship of Driver Oncogenes to Long-Term Pemetrexed Response in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer CLINICAL LUNG CANCER Liang, Y., Wakelee, H. A., Neal, J. W. 2015; 16 (5): 366-373
  • Heterogeneity Underlies the Emergence of EGFRT790 Wild-Type Clones Following Treatment of T790M-Positive Cancers with a Third-Generation EGFR Inhibitor. Cancer discovery Piotrowska, Z., Niederst, M. J., Karlovich, C. A., Wakelee, H. A., Neal, J. W., Mino-Kenudson, M., Fulton, L., Hata, A. N., Lockerman, E. L., Kalsy, A., Digumarthy, S., Muzikansky, A., Raponi, M., Garcia, A. R., Mulvey, H. E., Parks, M. K., DiCecca, R. H., Dias-Santagata, D., Iafrate, A. J., Shaw, A. T., Allen, A. R., Engelman, J. A., Sequist, L. V. 2015; 5 (7): 713-722


    Rociletinib is a third-generation EGFR inhibitor active in lung cancers with T790M, the gatekeeper mutation underlying most first-generation EGFR drug resistance. We biopsied patients at rociletinib progression to explore resistance mechanisms. Among 12 patients with T790M-positive cancers at rociletinib initiation, six had T790-wild-type rociletinib-resistant biopsies. Two T790-wild-type cancers underwent small cell lung cancer transformation; three T790M-positive cancers acquired EGFR amplification. We documented T790-wild-type and T790M-positive clones coexisting within a single pre-rociletinib biopsy. The pretreatment fraction of T790M-positive cells affected response to rociletinib. Longitudinal circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) analysis revealed an increase in plasma EGFR-activating mutation, and T790M heralded rociletinib resistance in some patients, whereas in others the activating mutation increased but T790M remained suppressed. Together, these findings demonstrate the role of tumor heterogeneity when therapies targeting a singular resistance mechanism are used. To further improve outcomes, combination regimens that also target T790-wild-type clones are required.This report documents that half of T790M-positive EGFR-mutant lung cancers treated with rociletinib are T790-wild-type upon progression, suggesting that T790-wild-type clones can emerge as the dominant source of resistance. We show that tumor heterogeneity has important clinical implications and that plasma ctDNA analyses can sometimes predict emerging resistance mechanisms. Cancer Discov; 5(7); 713-22. ©2015 AACR.See related commentary by Ichihara and Lovly, p. 694.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 681.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-15-0399

    View details for PubMedID 25934077

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4497836

  • Developing biomarker-specific end points in lung cancer clinical trials NATURE REVIEWS CLINICAL ONCOLOGY Neal, J. W., Gainor, J. F., Shaw, A. T. 2015; 12 (3): 135-146


    In cancer-drug development, a number of different end points have been used to establish efficacy and support regulatory approval, such as overall survival, progression-free survival (PFS), and radiographic response rate. However, these traditional end points have important limitations. For example, in lung cancer clinical trials, evaluating overall survival end points is a protracted process and these end points are most reliable when crossover to the investigational therapy is not permitted. Furthermore, although radiographic surrogate end points, such as PFS and response rate, generally correlate with clinical benefit in the setting of cytotoxic chemotherapy and molecular targeted therapies, novel immunotherapies might have atypical response kinetics, which confounds radiographic interpretation. In this Review, we discuss the need to develop alternative or surrogate end points for lung cancer clinical trials, and focus on several new biomarkers that could serve as surrogate end points, including functional imaging biomarkers, circulating factors (tumour proteins, DNA, and cells), and pharmacodynamic tumour markers. By enabling the size, duration, and complexity of cancer trials to be reduced, biomarker end points hold the promise to accelerate drug development and improve patient outcomes.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nrclinonc.2014.222

    View details for Web of Science ID 000350673000006

    View details for PubMedID 25533947

  • Diffuse High Intensity PD-L1 Staining in Thymic Epithelial Tumors. Journal of thoracic oncology Padda, S. K., Riess, J. W., Schwartz, E. J., Tian, L., Kohrt, H. E., Neal, J. W., West, R. B., Wakelee, H. A. 2015; 10 (3): 500-508


    Blockade of the immune checkpoint programmed death receptor ligand-1 (PD-L1)/PD-1 pathway has well-established clinical activity across many tumor types. PD-L1 protein expression by immunohistochemistry is emerging as a predictive biomarker of response to these therapies. Here, we examine PD-L1 expression in a thymic epithelial tumor (TET) tissue microarray (TMA).The TMA contained 69 TETs and 17 thymic controls, with each case represented by triplicate cores. The TMA was stained with rabbit monoclonal antibody (clone 15; Sino Biological, Beijing, China) to human PD-L1. PD-L1 staining was scored based on intensity as follows: 0 = none, 1 = equivocal/uninterpretable, 2 = weak, and 3 = intermediate-strong. Those cases with all cores scoring three in the epithelial component were categorized as PD-L1 and the remaining as PD-L1.PD-L1 scores were more frequent in TETs than in controls (68.1% versus 17.6%; p = 0.0036). PD-L1 scores and histology were significantly correlated, with higher intensity staining in World Health Organization (WHO). B2/B3/C TETs. Only 14.8% of TETs had PD-L1 staining of associated lymphocytes. In an adjusted analysis (age/sex), PD-L1 TETs had a significantly worse overall survival (hazard ratio: 5.40, 95% confidence interval: 1.13-25.89; p = 0.035) and a trend for worse event-free survival (hazard ratio: 2.94, 95% confidence interval: 0.94-9.24; p = 0.064).PD-L1 expression was present in all cases of TETs within the epithelial component but only in a minority in the lymphocytic component. TETs stained more intensely for PD-L1 than in controls, and PD-L1 TETs were associated with more aggressive histology and worse prognosis. This study lends rationale to a clinical trial with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy in this rare tumor type.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/JTO.0000000000000429

    View details for PubMedID 25402569

  • Improved tumor vascularization after anti-VEGF therapy with carboplatin and nab-paclitaxel associates with survival in lung cancer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Heist, R. S., Duda, D. G., Sahani, D. V., Ancukiewicz, M., Fidias, P., Sequist, L. V., Temel, J. S., Shaw, A. T., Pennell, N. A., Neal, J. W., Gandhi, L., Lynch, T. J., Engelman, J. A., Jain, R. K. 2015; 112 (5): 1547-1552


    Addition of anti-VEGF antibody therapy to standard chemotherapies has improved survival and is an accepted standard of care for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the mechanisms by which anti-VEGF therapy increases survival remain unclear. We evaluated dynamic CT-based vascular parameters and plasma cytokines after bevacizumab alone and after bevacizumab plus chemotherapy with carboplatin and nab-paclitaxel in advanced NSCLC patients to explore potential biomarkers of treatment response and resistance to this regimen. Thirty-six patients were enrolled in this study. The primary end point was 6-mo progression-free survival rate, which was 74% (95% CI: 57, 97). This regimen has a promising overall response rate of 36% and median time to progression of 8.5 (6.0, 38.7) mo and overall survival of 12.2 (9.6, 44.1) mo. We found that anti-VEGF therapy led to a sustained increase in plasma PlGF, a potential pharmacodynamic marker. We also found that higher levels of soluble VEGFR1 measured before starting bevacizumab with chemotherapy were associated with worse survival, supporting its potential role as biomarker of treatment resistance. Our imaging biomarker studies indicate that bevacizumab-based treatment-while reducing blood flow, volume, and permeability in the overall population-may be associated with improved survival in patients with improved tumor vasculature and blood perfusion after treatment. This hypothesis-generating study supports the notion that excessively decreasing vascular permeability and pruning/rarefaction after bevacizumab therapy may negatively impact the outcome of combination therapy in NSCLC patients. This hypothesis warrants further dose-titration studies of bevacizumab to examine the dose effect on tumor vasculature and treatment efficacy.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1424024112

    View details for PubMedID 25605928

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4321320

  • GLI1, CTNNB1 and NOTCH1 protein expression in a thymic epithelial malignancy tissue microarray. Anticancer research Riess, J. W., West, R., Dean, M., Klimowicz, A. C., Neal, J. W., Hoang, C., Wakelee, H. A. 2015; 35 (2): 669-676


    Thymic epithelial tumors (TET) are rare. Wingless and INT (WNT), NOTCH and sonic hedgehog pathway interactions between thymocytes and thymic stroma are important to thymus and T-cell development. We analyzed a thymoma tissue microarray (TMA) for glioma associated oncogene homolog 1 (GLI1), NOTCH1 and catenin (cadherin-associated protein, beta 1) (CTNNB1) expression as surrogate markers of sonic hedgehog, NOTCH and WNT pathway activity.GLI1, NOTCH1 and CTNNB1 expression were assayed in a tissue microarray of 68 TET and eight benign thymus by fluorescent immunohistochemistry (AQUA) as surrogates for activity of the sonic hedgehog, NOTCH and WNT pathways respectively.No difference in tumor GLI1 (mean 201 vs. 211, p=0.31), CTNNB1 (mean 222 vs. 306, p=0.66) or NOTCH1 expression (mean 317 vs. 325, p=0.82) was noted between thymic tumor and benign thymus.No evidence for preferential expression of GLI1, NOTCH1 or CTNNB1 was noted. High-throughput immunofluorescence using AQUA technology can help overcome limitations of small sample size and tissue heterogeneity when analyzing protein expression in thymic tumors.

    View details for PubMedID 25667444

  • GLI1, CTNNB1 and NOTCH1 Protein Expression in a Thymic Epithelial Malignancy Tissue Microarray. Anticancer research Riess, J. W., West, R., Dean, M., Klimowicz, A. C., Neal, J. W., Hoang, C., Wakelee, H. A. 2015; 35 (2): 669-676

    View details for PubMedID 25667444

  • Pemetrexed in patients with thymic malignancies previously treated with chemotherapy. Lung cancer Liang, Y., Padda, S. K., Riess, J. W., West, R. B., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A. 2015; 87 (1): 34-38


    Thymic malignancies are rare, with limited published trials of chemotherapy activity. We performed a retrospective analysis of pemetrexed activity in patients with thymic malignancies.Patients with unresectable histologically confirmed invasive, recurrent, or metastatic thymoma or thymic carcinoma seen at the Stanford Cancer Center between January 2005 and November 2013 were identified, and those who were treated with pemetrexed in the second-line setting and beyond were included in this analysis.A total of 81 thymic malignancy patients were identified, of whom 16 received pemetrexed alone (N=14) or in combination (N=2). There were 10 patients (62.5%) with thymic carcinoma and 6 patients (37.5%) with thymoma. Among the 6 patients with thymoma, best response was 1 (17%) with a partial response (PR) and 5 (83%) with stable disease (SD). At a median follow-up of 21.2 months, the median PFS in the thymoma patients was 13.8 months (95% CI, 4.9-22.6 months) and the median OS was 20.1 months (95% CI, 16.4-23.9 months). Among the 10 patients with thymic carcinoma, best response to treatment was 1 (10%) PR, 5 (50%) SD, and 4 (40%) progressive disease (PD). At a median follow-up of 13.5 months, the median PFS in patients with thymic carcinoma was 6.5 months (95% CI, 0.2-12.8 months) and the median OS was 12.7 months (95% CI, 2.9-22.5 months).This small retrospective study demonstrates modest pemetrexed activity and disease stabilization in thymic malignancies with a clinically meaningful duration, and supports previous reports of pemetrexed efficacy in these rare diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.lungcan.2014.11.006

    View details for PubMedID 25443273

  • Decade in review-targeted therapy: successes, toxicities and challenges in solid tumours. Nature reviews. Clinical oncology Neal, J. W., Sledge, G. W. 2014; 11 (11): 627-628

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nrclinonc.2014.171

    View details for PubMedID 25286974

  • Review of the current targeted therapies for non-small-cell lung cancer. World journal of clinical oncology Nguyen, K. H., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. 2014; 5 (4): 576-587


    The last decade has witnessed the development of oncogene-directed targeted therapies that have significantly changed the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In this paper we review the data demonstrating efficacy of gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib, which target the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and crizotinib which targets anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). We discuss the challenge of acquired resistance to these small-molecular tyrosine kinase inhibitors and review promising agents which may overcome resistance, including the EGFR T790M-targeted agents CO-1686 and AZD9291, and the ALK-targeted agents ceritinib (LDK378), AP26113, alectinib (CH/RO5424802), and others. Emerging therapies directed against other driver oncogenes in NSCLC including ROS1, HER2, and BRAF are covered as well. The identification of specific molecular targets in a significant fraction of NSCLC has led to the personalized deployment of many effective targeted therapies, with more to come.

    View details for DOI 10.5306/wjco.v5.i4.576

    View details for PubMedID 25302162

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4129523

  • An ultrasensitive method for quantitating circulating tumor DNA with broad patient coverage. Nature medicine Newman, A. M., Bratman, S. V., To, J., Wynne, J. F., Eclov, N. C., Modlin, L. A., Liu, C. L., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A., Merritt, R. E., Shrager, J. B., Loo, B. W., Alizadeh, A. A., Diehn, M. 2014; 20 (5): 548-554


    Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is a promising biomarker for noninvasive assessment of cancer burden, but existing ctDNA detection methods have insufficient sensitivity or patient coverage for broad clinical applicability. Here we introduce cancer personalized profiling by deep sequencing (CAPP-Seq), an economical and ultrasensitive method for quantifying ctDNA. We implemented CAPP-Seq for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a design covering multiple classes of somatic alterations that identified mutations in >95% of tumors. We detected ctDNA in 100% of patients with stage II-IV NSCLC and in 50% of patients with stage I, with 96% specificity for mutant allele fractions down to ∼0.02%. Levels of ctDNA were highly correlated with tumor volume and distinguished between residual disease and treatment-related imaging changes, and measurement of ctDNA levels allowed for earlier response assessment than radiographic approaches. Finally, we evaluated biopsy-free tumor screening and genotyping with CAPP-Seq. We envision that CAPP-Seq could be routinely applied clinically to detect and monitor diverse malignancies, thus facilitating personalized cancer therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nm.3519

    View details for PubMedID 24705333

  • An ultrasensitive method for quantitating circulating tumor DNA with broad patient coverage NATURE MEDICINE Newman, A. M., Bratman, S. V., To, J., Wynne, J. F., Eclov, N. C., Modlin, L. A., Liu, C. L., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A., Merritt, R. E., Shrager, J. B., Loo, B. W., Alizadeh, A. A., Diehn, M. 2014; 20 (5): 552-558

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nm.3519

    View details for Web of Science ID 000335710700028

  • Prolonged survival of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis in the modern treatment era. Clinical lung cancer Riess, J. W., Nagpal, S., Iv, M., Zeineh, M., Gubens, M. A., Ramchandran, K., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A. 2014; 15 (3): 202-206


    Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (LM) is a severe complication of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) historically associated with poor prognosis. New chemotherapeutic and targeted treatments could potentially affect the natural history of LM.Patients with a pathologic diagnosis of NSCLC with LM treated at Stanford between 2003 and 2011 were identified via institutional databases and medical records. LM was defined by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that was positive for malignant cells or by LM enhancement on magnetic resonance imaging with gadolinium contrast. Retrospective, landmark analyses were performed to estimate survival. Statistical analyses were performed using SAS Enterprise Guide, version 4.3.LM was identified in 30 patients. All cases were adenocarcinoma; 60% of patients had a known or suspected driver mutation. The mean age was 58 years. Of the 30 patients, 67% were women; 70% were nonsmokers; 27% initially presented with LM; 84% received systemic treatment at or after development of LM; and 53% of these patients received modern systemic therapy for their LM, defined as a regimen containing pemetrexed, bevacizumab, or a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Mean overall survival after LM diagnosis was 6 months (95% CI, 3-12). Patients who received modern systemic therapy for LM had decreased hazard of death (hazard ratio [HR], 0.24; P = .007).In this retrospective, single-institution analysis, median survival with LM was higher compared with historical experience. Patients who received modern systemic therapy for their LM had particularly good outcomes. These data provide evidence for improving survival outcomes in the modern treatment era for this difficult-to-treat complication.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cllc.2013.12.009

    View details for PubMedID 24524822

  • Immune correlates of talactoferrin alfa in biopsied tumor of relapsed/refractory metastatic non-small cell lung cancer patients. Immunopharmacology and immunotoxicology Riess, J. W., Bhattacharya, N., Blenman, K. R., Neal, J. W., Hwang, G., Pultar, P., San-Pedro Salcedo, M., Engleman, E., Lee, P. P., Malik, R., Wakelee, H. A. 2014; 36 (2): 182-186


    Talactoferrin alfa (TLF) is a unique recombinant form of human lactoferrin. The hypothesized mechanism of action involves TLF binding to the intestinal endothelium inducing dendritic cell maturation and cytokine release leading to infiltration of tumor with monocytes and T-lymphocytes and inhibition of tumor growth.Based on promising phase II trial results, this correlative study was undertaken to examine immune mechanism of action of TLF in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.Talactoferrin was administered orally at 1.5 g bid weeks 1-12 with 2 weeks off on a 14-week cycle. Enrolled patients had a pathologic diagnosis of NSCLC previously treated with at least two lines of systemic treatment. Patients had core biopsy of tumor before initiation of talactoferrin and at week 7 on TLF. Flow cytometry and quantitative immunohistochemistry for immune correlates were performed on the biopsied specimens.Four patients with metastatic NSCLC were enrolled. The trial was halted pre-maturely in light of negative phase III trial results. For the two patients who had repeat on-treatment tumor biopsies, a consistent increase in monocytes as a percentage of total immune cells was observed. Otherwise, no clear trend of increase or decrease was observed in any other immune cell parameters compared to matched patient pre-treatment biopsies.Repeat biopsies for immune correlates by flow cytometry and quantitative immunohistochemistry in NSCLC patients are feasible. In the few patients sampled before trial closure, increased monocytes as a total percentage of the immune cell population within tumor was observed in response to TLF.

    View details for DOI 10.3109/08923973.2013.864671

    View details for PubMedID 24494587

  • Template for reporting results of biomarker testing of specimens from patients with non-small cell carcinoma of the lung. Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine Cagle, P. T., Sholl, L. M., Lindeman, N. I., Alsabeh, R., Divaris, D. X., Foulis, P., Lee, G., Neal, J. W., Nowak, J. A., Yu, P. P. 2014; 138 (2): 171-174

    View details for DOI 10.5858/arpa.2013-0232-CP

    View details for PubMedID 23808401

  • Isolation and mutational analysis of circulating tumor cells from lung cancer patients with magnetic sifters and biochips LAB ON A CHIP Earhart, C. M., Hughes, C. E., Gaster, R. S., Ooi, C. C., Wilson, R. J., Zhou, L. Y., Humke, E. W., Xu, L., Wong, D. J., Willingham, S. B., Schwartz, E. J., Weissman, I. L., Jeffrey, S. S., Neal, J. W., Rohatgi, R., Wakeleebe, H. A., Wang, S. X. 2014; 14 (1): 78-88

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c3lc50580d

    View details for Web of Science ID 000327669000008

  • Isolation and mutational analysis of circulating tumor cells from lung cancer patients with magnetic sifters and biochips. Lab on a chip Earhart, C. M., Hughes, C. E., Gaster, R. S., Ooi, C. C., Wilson, R. J., Zhou, L. Y., Humke, E. W., Xu, L., Wong, D. J., Willingham, S. B., Schwartz, E. J., Weissman, I. L., Jeffrey, S. S., Neal, J. W., Rohatgi, R., Wakelee, H. A., Wang, S. X. 2013; 14 (1): 78-88


    Detection and characterization of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) may reveal insights into the diagnosis and treatment of malignant disease. Technologies for isolating CTCs developed thus far suffer from one or more limitations, such as low throughput, inability to release captured cells, and reliance on expensive instrumentation for enrichment or subsequent characterization. We report a continuing development of a magnetic separation device, the magnetic sifter, which is a miniature microfluidic chip with a dense array of magnetic pores. It offers high efficiency capture of tumor cells, labeled with magnetic nanoparticles, from whole blood with high throughput and efficient release of captured cells. For subsequent characterization of CTCs, an assay, using a protein chip with giant magnetoresistive nanosensors, has been implemented for mutational analysis of CTCs enriched with the magnetic sifter. The use of these magnetic technologies, which are separate devices, may lead the way to routine preparation and characterization of "liquid biopsies" from cancer patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c3lc50580d

    View details for PubMedID 23969419

  • Adjuvant molecularly targeted therapy-epidermal growth factor tyrosine kinase inhibition and beyond. Translational lung cancer research Neal, J. W., Sequist, L. V. 2013; 2 (5): 411-414

    View details for DOI 10.3978/j.issn.2218-6751.2013.10.06

    View details for PubMedID 25806260

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4367722

  • A Case Series of Lengthy Progression-Free Survival With Pemetrexed-Containing Therapy in Metastatic Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Patients Harboring ROS1 Gene Rearrangements. Clinical lung cancer Riess, J. W., Padda, S. K., Bangs, C. D., Das, M., Neal, J. W., Adrouny, A. R., Cherry, A., Wakelee, H. A. 2013; 14 (5): 592-595

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cllc.2013.04.008

    View details for PubMedID 23810364

  • A Patient With Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer With Development of Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis While on Targeted Treatment With Crizotinib JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE CANCER NETWORK Riess, J. W., Nagpal, S., Neal, J. W., Wake, H. A. 2013; 11 (4): 389-394


    Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (LM) is an infrequent yet morbid and often fatal complication of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Management of LM is multimodal, often involving systemic chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and a variety of symptom management maneuvers to address elevated intracranial pressure, pain, and mood changes that can accompany the disease. It is increasingly recognized that tumors with actionable mutations in NSCLC, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) translocations, respond well to systemic therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors yet often progress in the central nervous system. More information is needed regarding the natural history and optimal management of LM in specific molecular subtypes of NSCLC. This case report summarizes the management of a patient with ALK-positive NSCLC who developed LM while on targeted treatment with crizotinib within the context of current NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology and recently published studies.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000317543800006

    View details for PubMedID 23584342

  • A case series of NSCLC patients with different molecular characteristics and choroidal metastases: improvement in vision with treatment including pemetrexed and bevacizumab. Journal of thoracic oncology Riess, J. W., Nagpal, S., Das, M., Neal, J. W., Kim, J. W., Wakelee, H. A. 2013; 8 (2): e17-8

    View details for DOI 10.1097/JTO.0b013e31827690da

    View details for PubMedID 23328555

  • A Case Series of NSCLC Patients with Different Molecular Characteristics and Choroidal Metastases Improvement in Vision with Treatment Including Pemetrexed and Bevacizumab JOURNAL OF THORACIC ONCOLOGY Riess, J. W., Nagpal, S., Das, M., Neal, J. W., Kim, J. W., Wakelee, H. A. 2013; 8 (2): E17-E18

    View details for DOI 10.1097/JTO.0b013e31827690da

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316204900003

    View details for PubMedID 23328555

  • Aflibercept in lung cancer EXPERT OPINION ON BIOLOGICAL THERAPY Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A. 2013; 13 (1): 115-120


    Angiogenesis, the recruitment and growth of blood vessels, is a process central to the growth of solid tumors. One of the key mediators of angiogenesis is the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family of ligands. An antibody to VEGF-A, bevacizumab, has demonstrated a survival benefit in conjunction with platinum-based doublet chemotherapy in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Aflibercept (VEGF Trap) is a recombinant VEGF receptor-antibody protein fusion with higher affinity for VEGF-A than bevacizumab, plus affinity for VEGF-B and placental growth factor (PlGF). AREAS COVERED: This article reviews recent clinical trials investigating the role of aflibercept in the treatment of lung cancer, both published in the literature and those for which preliminary data have been presented at major scientific meetings. EXPERT OPINION: Aflibercept has proven Phase III efficacy in metastatic colorectal cancer, but in lung cancer, large clinical trials have not yielded positive results. There remains hope that identification of biomarkers of response will one day help select patients most likely to benefit from antiangiogenesis therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1517/14712598.2013.745847

    View details for Web of Science ID 000312219700010

    View details for PubMedID 23199019

  • Targeting fibroblast growth factor receptor and discoidin domain receptor 2 in non-small-cell lung cancer. Journal of thoracic oncology Riess, J. W., Neal, J. W. 2012; 7 (16): S385-6

    View details for DOI 10.1097/JTO.0b013e31826df166

    View details for PubMedID 23160327

  • MET inhibitors in combination with other therapies in non-small cell lung cancer. Translational lung cancer research Padda, S., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A. 2012; 1 (4): 238-253


    MET and its ligand hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF) influence cell motility and lead to tumor growth, invasion, and angiogenesis. Alterations in MET have been observed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors, with increased expression associated with more aggressive cancer, as well as acquired resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI). MET inhibitors act via two basic mechanisms. Small molecule inhibitors antagonize ATP in the intracellular tyrosine kinase domain of MET, with studies on the following agents reviewed here: tivantinib (ARQ-197), cabozantinib (XL-184), crizotinib (PF-02341066), amuvatinib (MP470), MGCD265, foretinib (EXEL-2880), MK2461, SGX523, PHA665752, JNJ-38877605, SU11274, and K252A. The monoclonal monovalent antibody fragment onartuzumab (MetMAb) is also discussed here, which binds to and prevents the extracellular activation of the receptor by ligand. MET inhibition may both overcome the negative prognostic effect of MET tumor expression as well as antagonize MET-dependent acquired resistance to EGFR inhibitors. Here we discuss MET inhibitors in combination with other therapies in lung cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.3978/j.issn.2218-6751.2012.10.08

    View details for PubMedID 25806189

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4367550

  • A Phase I Study of Erlotinib and Hydroxychloroquine in Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer JOURNAL OF THORACIC ONCOLOGY Goldberg, S. B., Supko, J. G., Neal, J. W., Muzikansky, A., Digumarthy, S., Fidias, P., Temel, J. S., Heist, R. S., Shaw, A. T., McCarthy, P. O., Lynch, T. J., Sharma, S., Settleman, J. E., Sequist, L. V. 2012; 7 (10): 1602-1608


    This investigator-initiated study explores the safety, maximum tolerated dose, clinical response, and pharmacokinetics of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) with and without erlotinib in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.Patients with prior clinical benefit from an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor were randomized to HCQ or HCQ plus erlotinib in a 3 + 3 dose-escalation schema.Twenty-seven patients were treated, eight with HCQ (arm A) and 19 with HCQ plus erlotinib (arm B). EGFR mutations were detected in 74% of the patients and 85% had received two or more prior therapies. Arm A had no dose-limiting toxicities, but the maximum tolerated dose was not reached as this arm closed early to increase overall study accrual. In arm B, one patient each experienced grade 3 rash, nail changes, skin changes, nausea, dehydration, and neutropenia; one had grade 4 anemia; and one developed fatal pneumonitis, all considered unrelated to HCQ. There were no dose-limiting toxicities, therefore the highest tested dose for HCQ with erlotinib 150 mg was 1000 mg daily. One patient had a partial response to erlotinib/HCQ, for an overall response rate of 5% (95% confidence interval, 1-25). This patient had an EGFR mutation and remained on therapy for 20 months. Administration of HCQ did not alter the pharmacokinetics of erlotinib.HCQ with or without erlotinib was safe and well tolerated. The recommended phase 2 dose of HCQ was 1000 mg when given in combination with erlotinib 150 mg.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/JTO.0b013e318262de4a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000308919400023

    View details for PubMedID 22878749

  • Complex Role of Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors in the Treatment of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY Neal, J. W., Sequist, L. V. 2012; 30 (18): 2280-2282

    View details for DOI 10.1200/JCO.2011.41.0860

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305413200022

    View details for PubMedID 22508823

  • Ipilimumab in Combination With Paclitaxel and Carboplatin As First-Line Treatment in Stage IIIB/IV Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Results From a Randomized, Double-Blind, Multicenter Phase II Study JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY Lynch, T. J., Bondarenko, I., Luft, A., Serwatowski, P., Barlesi, F., Chacko, R., Sebastian, M., Neal, J., Lu, H., Cuillerot, J., Reck, M. 2012; 30 (17): 2046-2054


    Ipilimumab, which is an anti-cytotoxic T-cell lymphocyte-4 monoclonal antibody, showed a survival benefit in melanoma with adverse events (AEs) managed by protocol-defined guidelines. A phase II study in lung cancer assessed the activity of ipilimumab plus paclitaxel and carboplatin.Patients (N = 204) with chemotherapy-naive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were randomly assigned 1:1:1 to receive paclitaxel (175 mg/m(2)) and carboplatin (area under the curve, 6) with either placebo (control) or ipilimumab in one of the following two regimens: concurrent ipilimumab (four doses of ipilimumab plus paclitaxel and carboplatin followed by two doses of placebo plus paclitaxel and carboplatin) or phased ipilimumab (two doses of placebo plus paclitaxel and carboplatin followed by four doses of ipilimumab plus paclitaxel and carboplatin).Treatment was administered intravenously every 3 weeks for ≤ 18 weeks (induction). Eligible patients continued ipilimumab or placebo every 12 weeks as maintenance therapy. Response was assessed by using immune-related response criteria and modified WHO criteria. The primary end point was immune-related progression-free survival (irPFS). Other end points were progression-free survival (PFS), best overall response rate (BORR), immune-related BORR (irBORR), overall survival (OS), and safety.The study met its primary end point of improved irPFS for phased ipilimumab versus the control (hazard ratio [HR], 0.72; P = .05), but not for concurrent ipilimumab (HR, 0.81; P = .13). Phased ipilimumab also improved PFS according to modified WHO criteria (HR, 0.69; P = .02). Phased ipilimumab, concurrent ipilimumab, and control treatments were associated with a median irPFS of 5.7, 5.5, and 4.6 months, respectively, a median PFS of 5.1, 4.1, and 4.2 months, respectively, an irBORR of 32%, 21% and 18%, respectively, a BORR of 32%, 21% and 14%, respectively, and a median OS of 12.2, 9.7, and 8.3 months. Overall rates of grade 3 and 4 immune-related AEs were 15%, 20%, and 6% for phased ipilimumab, concurrent ipilimumab, and the control, respectively. Two patients (concurrent, one patient; control, one patient) died from treatment-related toxicity.Phased ipilimumab plus paclitaxel and carboplatin improved irPFS and PFS, which supports additional investigation of ipilimumab in NSCLC.

    View details for DOI 10.1200/JCO.2011.38.4032

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305159200009

    View details for PubMedID 22547592

  • First-line treatment of EGFR-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer: the role of erlotinib and other tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Biologics : targets & therapy Nguyen, K. H., Neal, J. W. 2012; 6: 337-345


    Epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR TKIs) were initially established as second- or third-line treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Subsequent studies, including IPASS, OPTIMAL, and EURTAC, have demonstrated that these TKIs are effective first-line therapeutic options in patients with tumors harboring activating mutations in the EGFR gene. The TKIs are better tolerated than conventional chemotherapy, with frequent yet mild side effects such as rash and diarrhea, and rarely interstitial lung disease. Because most patients on TKIs develop resistance due to a variety of mechanisms, the use of TKIs in the acquired-resistance setting and in the setting of earlier-staged cancers is being extensively studied. Here we review the major trials leading to the established use of EGFR TKIs in NSCLC, followed by discussion of recently completed and ongoing trials using the next-generation EGFR inhibitor afatinib.

    View details for DOI 10.2147/BTT.S26558

    View details for PubMedID 23055691

  • Current Management of Small Cell Lung Cancer CLINICS IN CHEST MEDICINE Neal, J. W., Gubens, M. A., Wakelee, H. A. 2011; 32 (4): 853-?


    Confined to one side of the chest, limited stage small cell lung cancer is treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, yet has a long-term survival rate of only 15%. Extensive stage disease has initial response rates to chemotherapy exceeding 70%. However, the disease almost invariably progresses and becomes fatal. Many recent clinical trials have failed to show superiority of newer chemotherapeutics or targeted therapies compared with the standard chemotherapy backbone of platinum plus etoposide. Numerous promising targeted therapies and other agents are still in development.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ccm.2011.07.002

    View details for Web of Science ID 000297822700017

    View details for PubMedID 22054891

  • Targeting FGFR, Ephrins, Mer, MET, and PDGFR-alpha in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer JOURNAL OF THORACIC ONCOLOGY Riess, J. W., Neal, J. W. 2011; 6 (11): S1797-S1798
  • One Allele's Loss Is Another's Gain: Alterations of NKX2-8 in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Neal, J. W., Shaw, A. T. 2011; 17 (4): 638-639


    Large-scale genetic changes such as loss or gain of chromosomes are important drivers of solid tumor carcinogenesis. Recent technological advances in genomic profiling have allowed quantitative detection of gene copy numbers, leading to identification of the 14q13.3 gene locus as functionally important in non-small cell lung cancers.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-3081

    View details for Web of Science ID 000287913200002

    View details for PubMedID 21163872

  • Outcomes After Combined Modality Therapy for EGFR-Mutant and Wild-Type Locally Advanced NSCLC ONCOLOGIST Mak, R. H., Doran, E., Muzikansky, A., Kang, J., Neal, J. W., Baldini, E. H., Choi, N. C., Willers, H., Jackman, D. M., Sequist, L. V. 2011; 16 (6): 886-895


    Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations identify a unique biological subtype of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Treatment outcomes for EGFR-mutant locally advanced NSCLC patients have not been well described.We retrospectively examined outcomes after combined modality therapy including thoracic radiation therapy (RT) in 123 patients with locally advanced NSCLC and known EGFR mutation status. Outcomes were compared using Kaplan-Meier analysis, the log-rank test, and multivariate Cox regression models.All 123 patients underwent thoracic RT; 25% had tumors with EGFR mutations and 94% had stage III disease. Overall, 81% received chemotherapy concurrent with RT and 55% underwent surgical resection. With a median follow-up of 27.5 months, the overall survival (OS) rate was significantly higher in patients with EGFR-mutant tumors than in those with wild-type EGFR tumors (2-year estimate: 92.6% versus 69.0%; p = .04). The 2-year relapse-free survival and distant recurrence rates did not differ significantly by genotype. The 2-year locoregional recurrence rate (LRR) was significantly lower in EGFR-mutant than in wild-type EGFR patients (17.8% versus 41.7%; p = .005). EGFR-mutant genotype was associated with a lower risk for LRR on multivariate analysis, but not OS, after adjusting for surgery and other potential confounders.We observed that EGFR-mutant patients with locally advanced NSCLC treated with RT had lower rates of LRR than wild-type EGFR patients, raising the hypothesis that EGFR mutations may confer sensitivity to RT and/or chemotherapy. The association between mutation status and OS after combined modality therapy was less robust. Our data may serve as a useful baseline estimate of outcomes by EGFR genotype for future prospective studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1634/theoncologist.2011-0040

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291928900018

    View details for PubMedID 21632451

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3228219

  • The SATURN trial: the value of maintenance erlotinib in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer FUTURE ONCOLOGY Neal, J. W. 2010; 6 (12): 1827-1832


    The first-line treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) generally consists of a maximum of six cycles of platinum-based doublet chemotherapy followed by surveillance for disease progression. Recently, the strategy of starting second-line treatment immediately following the completion of chemotherapy, known as 'maintenance' chemotherapy, has been investigated. The use of maintenance pemetrexed improves both progression-free and overall survival, while the use of maintenance docetaxel did not significantly improve overall survival. The Sequential Tarceva in Unresectable NSCLC (SATURN) study investigated the use of maintenance erlotinib following the completion of first-line chemotherapy. It demonstrated a significant improvement in overall survival from 11.1 months in the placebo group to 12.3 months in patients receiving maintenance erlotinib, with the important caveat that only 21% of patients in the placebo group ever received erlotinib. A subset of patients whose tumors had EGF receptor mutations had a higher magnitude of benefit from maintenance treatment. Therefore, maintenance erlotinib should be considered in the treatment of patients with NSCLC.

    View details for DOI 10.2217/FON.10.156

    View details for Web of Science ID 000297100400007

    View details for PubMedID 21142856

  • Cetuximab monotherapy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer after prior epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. Journal of thoracic oncology Neal, J. W., Heist, R. S., Fidias, P., Temel, J. S., Huberman, M., Marcoux, J. P., Muzikansky, A., Lynch, T. J., Sequist, L. V. 2010; 5 (11): 1855-1858


    Therapeutic agents directed against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway have been effective in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Cetuximab is a monoclonal antibody against the EGFR receptor with antitumor activity in NSCLC. This study evaluated the efficacy of cetuximab monotherapy after prior treatment with an oral EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI).Eligible patients had stage IIIB, IV, or recurrent NSCLC with progression on the oral EGFR TKIs gefitinib or erlotinib. Cetuximab was administered intravenously at 400 mg/m on day 1 and then 250 mg/m weekly until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary end point was response rate.Eighteen patients were enrolled. Patients were heavily pretreated with chemotherapy and TKIs (average number of treatments = 4.2). The response rate was 0/18 (0%), and 28% of patients had confirmed stable disease. Median progression-free survival was 1.8 months (95% confidence interval, 1.6-5.4 months), and median overall survival was 7.5 months (95% confidence interval, 2.2-19 months). Three patients harbored activating EGFR mutations, and one of them had stable disease for nearly 6 months on cetuximab. Common toxicities were mild and included fatigue, skin rash, and nausea/vomiting. Two patients developed interstitial lung disease, life threatening in one case.Cetuximab monotherapy administered after prior EGFR TKI treatment in patients with advanced NSCLC does not yield clinical responses.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181f0bee0

    View details for PubMedID 20975380

  • AMG-386, a selective angiopoietin-1/-2-neutralizing peptibody for the potential treatment of cancer CURRENT OPINION IN MOLECULAR THERAPEUTICS Neal, J., Wakelee, H. 2010; 12 (4): 487-495


    The VEGF/VEGFR and angiopoietin/Tie-2 signaling pathways are important in the process of vascular endothelial growth (angiogenesis) and in the maintenance of tumor-associated blood vessels. While there are several agents targeting the VEGF/VEGFR signaling pathway, there are none available that target the angiopoietin/Tie-2 signaling pathway. The first such agent to reach clinical trials is AMG-386 (2xCon4C), being developed by Amgen Inc and licensed in Japan to Takeda Bio Development Center Ltd. AMG-386 is an anti-angiopoietin peptibody comprising a peptide with angiopoietin-binding properties that is fused to the Fc (crystallizable fragment) region of an antibody and inhibits the interaction between the ligands angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2 with the Tie-2 receptor. AMG-386 significantly inhibited the growth of tumors in a variety of mouse xenograft models. In phase I trials of AMG-386 as a monotherapy or in combination with chemotherapy in patients with advanced solid tumors, AMG-386 demonstrated only mild toxicities, and one complete response and several partial responses were achieved in patients. Phase II trials of AMG-386 in combination with chemotherapy were ongoing in a variety of solid tumors, including breast, ovarian, colorectal, gastric and renal cell cancers. If safe and effective, AMG-386 could be an exciting addition to other antiangiogenic therapies in solid tumors.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280507000013

    View details for PubMedID 20677100

  • Exciting New Targets in Lung Cancer Therapy: ALK, IGF-1R, HDAC, and Hh CURRENT TREATMENT OPTIONS IN ONCOLOGY Neal, J. W., Sequist, L. V. 2010; 11 (1-2): 36-44


    The anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor crizotinib will become an integral addition to the treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring genetic ALK translocations. The insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) monoclonal antibody figitumumab, while initially promising, appears to increase toxicity and death in combination with chemotherapy in the treatment of patients with NSCLC of squamous histology; therefore, clinical development of this class of agents will need to proceed with caution. The histone deacetylation (HDAC) inhibitor vorinostat did not demonstrate an improvement in overall survival (OS) compared with placebo in a large randomized trial, but other agents in this class may have greater selectivity and efficacy. Inhibitors of the hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathways have some early clinical promise in both NSCLC and small cell lung cancer (SCLC), and larger studies using these agents are eagerly anticipated.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11864-010-0120-6

    View details for Web of Science ID 000281247200004

    View details for PubMedID 20676809

  • Targeted therapies: optimal first-line therapy for NSCLC with EGFR mutations. Nature reviews. Clinical oncology Neal, J. W., Sequist, L. V. 2010; 7 (2): 71-72

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nrclinonc.2009.191

    View details for PubMedID 20118973

  • First-line use of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors in patients with NSCLC containing EGFR mutations. Clinical advances in hematology & oncology : H&O Neal, J. W., Sequist, L. V. 2010; 8 (2): 119-126


    While the small molecule epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors erlotinib and gefitinib have modest clinical benefit in unselected patients with non-small cell lung cancer after platinum-based chemotherapy, an emerging and potentially more elegant strategy is to move these agents to the frontline setting for select patients. Those with somatic mutations in EGFR respond dramatically to EGFR inhibitors, and mounting evidence from recent clinical trials, particularly the Iressa Pan-Asia Study (IPASS) trial, confirms superior response rates, progression-free survival, and tolerability with this targeted therapy compared with conventional chemotherapy. Here, we review the studies supporting the use of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the frontline setting in patients with EGFR mutations.

    View details for PubMedID 20386533

  • Induction of FucT-VII by the Ras/MAP kinase cascade in Jurkat T cells BLOOD Barry, S. M., Zisoulis, D. G., Neal, J. W., Clipstone, N. A., Kansas, G. S. 2003; 102 (5): 1771-1778


    Induction of the alpha1,3-fucosyltransferase FucT-VII in T lymphocytes is crucial for selectin ligand formation, but the signaling and transcriptional pathways that govern FucT-VII expression are unknown. Here, using a novel, highly phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-responsive variant of the Jurkat T-cell line, we identify Ras and downstream mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathways as essential mediators of FucT-VII gene expression. PMA induced FucT-VII in only a subset of treated cells, similar to expression of FucT-VII in normal activated CD4 T cells. Introduction of constitutively active Ras or Raf by recombinant retroviruses induced FucT-VII expression only in that subset of cells expressing the highest levels of Ras, suggesting that induction of FucT-VII required a critical threshhold of Ras signaling. Both PMA treatment and introduction of active Ras led to rolling on E-selectin. Pharmacologic inhibition studies confirmed the involvement of the classic Ras-Raf-MEK-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Ras-Raf-MEK-ERK) pathway in FucT-VII induction by PMA, Ras, and Raf. These studies also revealed a second, Ras-induced, Raf-1-independent pathway that participated in induction of FucT-VII. Strong activation of Ras represents a major pathway for induction of FucT-VII gene expression in T cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2002-11-3551

    View details for Web of Science ID 000184945200042

    View details for PubMedID 12738675

  • A constitutively active NFATc1 mutant induces a transformed phenotype in 3T3-L1 fibroblasts JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Neal, J. W., Clipstone, N. A. 2003; 278 (19): 17246-17254


    The calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) signaling pathway is best known for its role in T lymphocyte activation. However, it has become increasingly apparent that this signaling pathway is also involved in the regulation of cell growth and development in a wide variety of different tissues and cell types. Here we have investigated the effects of sustained NFATc1 signaling on the growth and differentiation of the murine 3T3-L1 preadipocyte cell line. Remarkably, we find that expression of a constitutively active NFATc1 mutant (caNFATc1) in these immortalized cells inhibits their differentiation into mature adipocytes and causes them to adopt a transformed cell phenotype, including loss of contact-mediated growth inhibition, reduced serum growth requirements, protection from growth factor withdrawal-induced apoptosis, and formation of colonies in semisolid media. Furthermore, we find that caNFATc1-expressing cells acquire growth factor autonomy and are able to proliferate even in the complete absence of serum. We provide evidence that this growth factor independence is caused by the NFATc1-dependent production of a soluble heat-labile autocrine factor that is capable of promoting the growth and survival of wild type 3T3-L1 cells as well as potently inhibiting their differentiation into mature adipocytes. Finally, we demonstrate that cells expressing caNFATc1 form tumors in nude mice. Taken together, these results indicate that deregulated NFATc1 activity is able to induce the immortalized 3T3-L1 preadipocyte cell line to acquire the well established hallmarks of cellular transformation and thereby provide direct evidence for the oncogenic potential of the NFATc1 transcription factor.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M300528200

    View details for Web of Science ID 000182818600107

    View details for PubMedID 12598522

  • Calcineurin mediates the calcium-dependent inhibition of adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Neal, J. W., Clipstone, N. A. 2002; 277 (51): 49776-49781


    Recent studies have revealed that the calcium-dependent serine/threonine phosphatase calcineurin mediates the effects of intracellular calcium in many different cell types. In this study we investigated the role of calcineurin in the regulation of adipocyte differentiation. We found that the specific calcineurin inhibitors cyclosporin A and FK506 overcame the antiadipogenic effect of calcium ionophore on the differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. This finding suggests that calcineurin is responsible for mediating the previously documented Ca(2+)-dependent inhibition of adipogenesis. We further demonstrate that the expression of a constitutively active calcineurin mutant potently inhibits the ability of 3T3-L1 cells to undergo adipocyte differentiation by preventing expression of the proadipogenic transcription factors peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPalpha). This calcineurin-mediated block in adipocyte differentiation is rescued by ectopic expression of PPARgamma1. Finally, we demonstrate that inhibition of endogenous calcineurin activity with either FK506 or a specific calcineurin inhibitory peptide enhances differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells in response to suboptimal adipogenic stimuli, suggesting that endogenous calcineurin activity normally sets a signaling threshold that antagonizes efficient adipocyte differentiation. Collectively, these data indicate that calcineurin acts as a Ca(2+)-dependent molecular switch that negatively regulates commitment to adipocyte differentiation by preventing the expression of critical proadipogenic transcription factors.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M207913200

    View details for Web of Science ID 000180028900090

    View details for PubMedID 12351639

  • Glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibits the DNA binding activity of NFATc JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Neal, J. W., Clipstone, N. A. 2001; 276 (5): 3666-3673


    The NFAT family of transcription factors is required for the expression of numerous immunologically important genes and plays a pivotal role in both the initiation and coordination of the immune response. NFAT family members appear to be regulated primarily at the level of their subcellular localization. Here we show that NFATc is additionally regulated at the level of its DNA binding activity. Using gel mobility shift assays, we demonstrate that the intrinsic DNA binding activity of NFATc is negatively regulated by phosphorylation. We found that activation of calcineurin activity in cells and dephosphorylation of NFATc in vitro enhanced NFATc DNA binding activity, whereas phosphorylation of NFATc in vitro inhibited its ability to bind DNA. Through the analysis of NFATc mutants, we identified the conserved Ser-Pro repeat motifs as critical quantitative determinants of NFATc DNA binding activity. In addition, we provide several lines of evidence to suggest that the phosphorylation of the Ser-Pro repeats by glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibits the ability of NFATc to bind DNA. Taken together, these studies afford new insights into the regulation of NFATc and underscore the potential role of glycogen synthase kinase-3 in the regulation of NFAT-dependent gene expression.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000166784900089

    View details for PubMedID 11063740



    Lactobacillus brevis takes up glucose and the nonmetabolizable glucose analog 2-deoxyglucose (2DG), as well as lactose and the nonmetabolizable lactose analoge thiomethyl beta-galactoside (TMG), via proton symport. Our earlier studies showed that TMG, previously accumulated in L. brevis cells via the lactose:H+ symporter, rapidly effluxes from L. brevis cells or vesicles upon addition of glucose and that glucose inhibits further accumulation of TMG. This regulation was shown to be mediated by a metabolite-activated protein kinase that phosphorylase serine 46 in the HPr protein. We have now analyzed the regulation of 2DG uptake and efflux and compared it with that of TMG. Uptake of 2DG was dependent on an energy source, effectively provided by intravesicular ATP or by extravesicular arginine which provides ATP via an ATP-generating system involving the arginine deiminase pathway. 2DG uptake into these vesicles was not inhibited, and preaccumulated 2DG did not efflux from them upon electroporation of fructose 1,6-diphosphate or gluconate 6-phosphate into the vesicles. Intravesicular but not extravesicular wild-type or H15A mutant HPr of Bacillus subtilis promoted inhibition (53 and 46%, respectively) of the permease in the presence of these metabolites. Counterflow experiments indicated that inhibition of 2DG uptake is due to the partial uncoupling of proton symport from sugar transport. Intravesicular S46A mutant HPr could not promote regulation of glucose permease activity when electroporated into the vesicles with or without the phosphorylated metabolites, but the S46D mutant protein promoted regulation, even in the absence of a metabolite. The Vmax but not the Km values for both TMG and 2DG uptake were affected. Uptake of the natural, metabolizable substrates of the lactose, glucose, mannose, and ribose permeases was inhibited by wild-type HPr in the presence of fructose 1,6-diphosphate or by S46D mutant HPr. These results establish that HPr serine phosphorylation by the ATP-dependent, metabolite-activated HPr kinase regulates glucose and lactose permease activities in L. brevis and suggest that other permeases may also be subject to this mode of regulation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994NQ76400006

    View details for PubMedID 8206825