Kashif M, Andersson C, Mansoori S, Larsson R, Nygren P, Gustafsson MG
Oncotarget 8 (61) 103952-103967 [2017-11-28; online 2017-10-19]
We analyzed survival effects for 15 different pairs of clinically relevant anti-cancer drugs in three iso-genic pairs of human colorectal cancer carcinoma cell lines, by applying for the first time our novel software (R package) called COMBIA. In our experiments iso-genic pairs of cell lines were used, differing only with respect to a single clinically important KRAS or BRAF mutation. Frequently, concentration dependent but mutation independent joint Bliss and Loewe synergy/antagonism was found statistically significant. Four combinations were found synergistic/antagonistic specifically to the parental (harboring KRAS or BRAF mutation) cell line of the corresponding iso-genic cell lines pair. COMBIA offers considerable improvements over established software for synergy analysis such as MacSynergy™ II as it includes both Bliss (independence) and Loewe (additivity) analyses, together with a tailored non-parametric statistical analysis employing heteroscedasticity, controlled resampling, and global (omnibus) testing. In many cases Loewe analyses found significant synergistic as well as antagonistic effects in a cell line at different concentrations of a tested drug combination. By contrast, Bliss analysis found only one type of significant effect per cell line. In conclusion, the integrated Bliss and Loewe interaction analysis based on non-parametric statistics may provide more robust interaction analyses and reveal complex patterns of synergy and antagonism.