DNA damage and genomic instability contribute to non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) etiology and progression. However, their therapeutic exploitation is disappointing. CTC-derived explants (CDX) offer systems for mechanistic investigation of CTC metastatic potency and may provide rationale for biology-driven therapeutics. Four CDX models and 3 CDX-derived cell lines were established from NSCLC CTCs and recapitulated patient tumor histology and response to platinum-based chemotherapy. CDX (GR-CDXL1, GR-CDXL2, GR-CDXL3, GR-CDXL4) demonstrated considerable mutational landscape similarity with patient tumor biopsy and/or single CTCs. Truncal alterations in key DNA damage response (DDR) and genome integrity–related genes were prevalent across models and assessed as therapeutic targets in vitro, in ovo, and in vivo. GR-CDXL1 presented homologous recombination deficiency linked to biallelic BRCA2 mutation and FANCA deletion, unrepaired DNA lesions after mitosis, and olaparib sensitivity, despite resistance to chemotherapy. SLFN11 overexpression in GR-CDXL4 led to olaparib sensitivity and was in coherence with neuroendocrine marker expression in patient tumor biopsy, suggesting a predictive value of SLFN11 in NSCLC histological transformation into small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Centrosome clustering promoted targetable chromosomal instability in GR-CDXL3 cells. These CDX unravel DDR and genome integrity–related defects as a central mechanism underpinning metastatic potency of CTCs and provide rationale for their therapeutic targeting in metastatic NSCLC.


Tala Tayoun, Vincent Faugeroux, Marianne Oulhen, Olivier Déas, Judith Michels, Laura Brulle-Soumare, Stefano Cairo, Jean-Yves Scoazec, Virginie Marty, Agathe Aberlenc, David Planchard, Jordi Remon, Santiago Ponce, Benjamin Besse, Patricia L. Kannouche, Jean-Gabriel Judde, Patrycja Pawlikowska, Françoise Farace


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