BACKGROUND: Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is characterised by the presence of a fusion driver oncogene, BCR-ABL1, which is a constitutive tyrosine kinase. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are the central treatment strategy for CML patients and have significantly improved survival rates, but the T315I mutation in the kinase domain of BCR-ABL1 confers resistance to all clinically approved TKIs, except ponatinib. However, compound mutations can mediate resistance even to ponatinib and remain a clinical challenge in CML therapy. Here, we investigated a ponatinib-resistant CML patient through whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to identify the cause of resistance and to find alternative therapeutic targets. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We carried out WGS on a ponatinib-resistant CML patient and demonstrated an effective combination therapy against the primary CML cells derived from this patient in vitro. RESULTS: Our findings demonstrate the emergence of compound mutations in the BCR-ABL1 kinase domain following ponatinib treatment, and chromosomal structural variation data predicted amplification of BCL2. The primary CD34(+) CML cells from this patient showed increased sensitivity to the combination of ponatinib and ABT-263, a BCL2 inhibitor with a negligible effect against the normal CD34(+) cells. CONCLUSION: Our results show the potential of personalised medicine approaches in TKI-resistant CML patients and provide a strategy that could improve clinical outcomes for these patients.
- BCR-ABL1 mutations
- mechanisms of resistance
- personalised medicine
- whole-genome sequencing
Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms
- Manchester Cancer Research Centre