DNA damage response (DDR) defects, particularly TP53 or biallelic ATM aberrations, are associated with chemoresistance in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Chemoimmunotherapy or B-cell receptor signaling inhibitors alone may not be sufficient to overcome adverse prognosis or provide durable response in TP53 or biallelic ATM inactivated CLL. In particular, genomic instability resulting from impaired DDR facilitates rapid clonal evolution leading to treatment refractoriness or disease relapse. Development of therapeutic approaches specifically targeting DDR defects is therefore necessary for effective long-term control of DDR-defective CLL. We previously demonstrated selective cytotoxicity of the ATR inhibitor AZD6738 towards TP53 or ATM null CLL cells, and validated this in CLL xenograft models for biallelic TP53 or ATM loss. Here, we provide mechanistic insight into the synthetically lethal interactions between ATR pathway inhibition and TP53 or ATM loss in CLL, and offer experimental evidence supporting the use of ATR inhibition in combination with conventional chemotherapies and other targeted therapies in CLL.
|Publisher||American Society of Hematology|