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Development of an adenosquamous carcinoma histo pathology-selective lung metastasis model

Lähdeniemi, IAK;Devlin, JR;Nagaraj, AS;Talwelkar, SS;Bao, J;Linnavirta, N;?eref Vujaklija, C;Kiss, EA;Hemmes, A;Verschuren, EW;

Preclinical tumor models with native tissue microenvironments provide essential tools to understand how heterogeneous tumor phenotypes relate to drug response. Here, we present syngeneic graft models of aggressive, metastasis-prone histopathology-specific NSCLC tumor types driven by KRAS mutation and loss of LKB1 (KL): adenosquamous carcinoma (ASC) and adenocarcinoma (AC). We show that subcutaneous injection of primary KL-ASC cells results in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) tumors with high levels of stromal infiltrates, lacking the source heterogeneous histotype. Despite forming subcutaneous tumors, intravenously injected KL-AC cells were unable to form lung tumors. In contrast, intravenous injection of KL-ASC cells leads to their lung re-colonization and lesions recapitulating the mixed AC and SCC histopathology, tumor immune suppressive microenvironment and oncogenic signaling profile of source tumors, demonstrating histopathology-selective phenotypic dominance over genetic drivers. Pan-ERBB inhibition increased survival, while selective ERBB1/EGFR inhibition did not, suggesting a role of ERBB network crosstalk in resistance to ERBB1/EGFR. This immunocompetent NSCLC lung colonization model hence phenocopies key properties of the metastasis-prone ASC histopathology, and serves as a preclinical model to dissect therapy responses and metastasis-associated processes.