Response to ERBB3-Directed Targeted Therapy in NRG1-Rearranged Cancers. Academic Article uri icon



  • NRG1 rearrangements are oncogenic drivers that are enriched in invasive mucinous adenocarcinomas (IMA) of the lung. The oncoprotein binds ERBB3-ERBB2 heterodimers and activates downstream signaling, supporting a therapeutic paradigm of ERBB3/ERBB2 inhibition. As proof of concept, a durable response was achieved with anti-ERBB3 mAb therapy (GSK2849330) in an exceptional responder with an NRG1-rearranged IMA on a phase I trial (NCT01966445). In contrast, response was not achieved with anti-ERBB2 therapy (afatinib) in four patients with NRG1-rearranged IMA (including the index patient post-GSK2849330). Although in vitro data supported the use of either ERBB3 or ERBB2 inhibition, these clinical results were consistent with more profound antitumor activity and downstream signaling inhibition with anti-ERBB3 versus anti-ERBB2 therapy in an NRG1-rearranged patient-derived xenograft model. Analysis of 8,984 and 17,485 tumors in The Cancer Genome Atlas and MSK-IMPACT datasets, respectively, identified NRG1 rearrangements with novel fusion partners in multiple histologies, including breast, head and neck, renal, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, and uterine cancers.Significance: This series highlights the utility of ERBB3 inhibition as a novel treatment paradigm for NRG1-rearranged cancers. In addition, it provides preliminary evidence that ERBB3 inhibition may be more optimal than ERBB2 inhibition. The identification of NRG1 rearrangements across various solid tumors supports a basket trial approach to drug development. Cancer Discov; 8(6); 686-95. ©2018 AACR.See related commentary by Wilson and Politi, p. 676This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 663.

publication date

  • April 2, 2018



  • Afatinib
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Neoplasms
  • Neuregulin-1
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion


PubMed Central ID

  • PMC5984717

Scopus Document Identifier

  • 85048259890

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-17-1004

PubMed ID

  • 29610121

Additional Document Info


  • 8


  • 6