Peripheral sympathetic nervous system tumors are the most common extracranial solid tumors of childhood and include neuroblastoma, ganglioneuroblastoma, and ganglioneuroma. Surgery is the only effective therapy for ganglioneuroma, which may be challenging due to the location of the tumor and involvement of surrounding structures. Thus, there is a need for well-tolerated presurgical therapies that could reduce the size and extent of ganglioneuroma and therefore limit surgical morbidity. Here, we found that an AKT–mTOR–S6 pathway was active in human ganglioneuroma but not neuroblastoma samples. Zebrafish transgenic for constitutively activated myr-Akt2 in the sympathetic nervous system were found to develop ganglioneuroma without progression to neuroblastoma. Inhibition of the downstream AKT target, mTOR, in zebrafish with ganglioneuroma effectively reduced the tumor burden. Our results implicate activated AKT as a tumorigenic driver in ganglioneuroma. We propose a clinical trial of mTOR inhibitors as a means to shrink large ganglioneuromas before resection in order to reduce surgical morbidity.
Ganglioneuromas are driven by activated AKT and can be therapeutically targeted with mTOR inhibitors
Disclosures: T. Tao reported grants from Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and grants from Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research and the Open Hands Overflowing Hearts during the conduct of the study. H. Shi reported grants from Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation during the conduct of the study. A.T. Look reported grants from National Institutes of Health during the conduct of the study. No other disclosures were reported.
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Ting Tao, Hui Shi, Meng Wang, Antonio R. Perez-Atayde, Wendy B. London, Alejandro Gutierrez, Bernardo Lemos, Adam D. Durbin, A. Thomas Look; Ganglioneuromas are driven by activated AKT and can be therapeutically targeted with mTOR inhibitors. J Exp Med 5 October 2020; 217 (10): e20191871. doi: https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20191871
Download citation file: