Systematic in vitro loss-of-function screens provide valuable resources that can facilitate the discovery of drugs targeting cancer vulnerabilities.
We develop a deep learning-based method to predict tumor-specific vulnerabilities in patient samples by leveraging a wealth of in vitro screening data. Acquired dependencies of tumors are inferred in cases in which one allele is disrupted by inactivating mutations or in association with oncogenic mutations. Nucleocytoplasmic transport by Ran GTPase is identified as a common vulnerability in Her2-positive breast cancers. Vulnerability to loss of Ku70/80 is predicted for tumors that are defective in homologous recombination and rely on nonhomologous end joining for DNA repair. Our experimental validation for Ran, Ku70/80, and a proteasome subunit using patient-derived cells shows that they can be targeted specifically in particular tumors that are predicted to be dependent on them.
This approach can be applied to facilitate the development of precision therapeutic targets for different tumors.