Treatment of severe Kaposiform lymphangiomatosis positive for NRAS mutation by MEK inhibition

Guy Chowers, Gadi Abebe-Campino, Hana Golan, Asaf Vivante, Shoshana Greenberger, Michalle Soudack, Galia Barkai, Ilana Fox-Fisher, Dong Li, Michael March, Mark R. Battig, Hakon Hakonarson, Denise Adams, Yoav Dori, Adi Dagan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Kaposiform lymphangiomatosis (KLA) is a complex lymphatic anomaly involving most commonly the mediastinum, lung, skin and bones with few effective treatments. In recent years, RAS-MAPK pathway mutations were shown to underlie the pathogenesis of several complex lymphatic anomalies. Specifically, an activating NRAS mutation (p.Q61R) was found in the majority of KLA patients. Recent reports demonstrated promising results of treatment with the MEK inhibitor, Trametinib, in patients with complex lymphatic anomalies harboring gain of function mutations in ARAF and SOS1, as well as loss of function mutation in the CBL gene, a negative regulator of the RAS-MAPK pathway. We present a 9-year-old child with a severe case of KLA harboring the typical NRAS (p.Q61R) mutation detected by plasma-derived cell free DNA, responsive to trametinib therapy. Methods: The NRAS somatic mutation was detected from plasma cfDNA using droplet digital PCR. Concurrent in-vitro studies of trametinib activity on mutant NRAS affected lymphatic endothelial cells were performed using a three-dimensional spheroid sprouting assay. Results: Trametinib treatment lead to resolution of lifelong thrombocytopenia, improvement of pulmonary function tests and wellbeing, as well as weaning from prolonged systemic steroid treatment. Concurrent studies of mutant NRAS-expressing cells showed enhanced lymphangiogenic capacity along with over activation of the RAS-MAPK and PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathways, both reversed by trametinib. Conclusions: Trametinib treatment can substantially change the prognosis of patients with RAS pathway associated lymphatic anomalies. Impact: This is the first description of successful trametinib treatment of a patient with KLA harboring the most characteristic NRAS p.Q61R mutation.Treatment can significantly change the prognosis of patients with RAS pathway-associated lymphatic anomalies.We devised an in vitro model of KLA enabling a reproducible method for the continued study of disease pathogenesis.Mutated NRAS p.Q61R cells demonstrated increased lymphangiogenic capacity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


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