Kinase Inhibitor Treatment of Patients with Advanced Cancer Results in High Tumor Drug Concentrations and in Specific Alterations of the Tumor Phosphoproteome

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Identification of predictive biomarkers for targeted therapies requires information on drug exposure at the target site as well as its effect on the signaling context of a tumor. To obtain more insight in the clinical mechanism of action of protein kinase inhibitors (PKIs), we studied tumor drug concentrations of protein kinase inhibitors (PKIs) and their effect on the tyrosine-(pTyr)-phosphoproteome in patients with advanced cancer. Tumor biopsies were obtained from 31 patients with advanced cancer before and after 2 weeks of treatment with sorafenib (SOR), erlotinib (ERL), dasatinib (DAS), vemurafenib (VEM), sunitinib (SUN) or everolimus (EVE). Tumor concentrations were determined by LC-MS/MS. pTyr-phosphoproteomics was performed by pTyr-immunoprecipitation followed by LC-MS/MS. Median tumor concentrations were 2-10 µM for SOR, ERL, DAS, SUN, EVE and >1 mM for VEM. These were 2-178 × higher than median plasma concentrations. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of pTyr-phosphopeptide intensities revealed patient-specific clustering of pre- and on-treatment profiles. Drug-specific alterations of peptide phosphorylation was demonstrated by marginal overlap of robustly up- and downregulated phosphopeptides. These findings demonstrate that tumor drug concentrations are higher than anticipated and result in drug specific alterations of the phosphoproteome. Further development of phosphoproteomics-based personalized medicine is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number330
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

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