Schenk MW et al.
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) has a 5-year survival rate of \<7\%. Rapid emergence of acquired resistance to standard platinum-etoposide chemotherapy is common and improved therapies are required for this recalcitrant tumour. We exploit six paired pre-treatment and post-chemotherapy circulating tumour cell patient-derived explant (CDX) models from donors with extensive stage SCLC to investigate changes at disease progression after chemotherapy. Soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) is recurrently upregulated in post-chemotherapy progression CDX models, which correlates with acquired chemoresistance. Expression and activation of sGC is regulated by Notch and nitric oxide (NO) signalling with downstream activation of protein kinase G. Genetic targeting of sGC or pharmacological inhibition of NO synthase re-sensitizes a chemoresistant CDX progression model in vivo, revealing this pathway as a mediator of chemoresistance and potential vulnerability of relapsed SCLC.