Delta-24-RGD (DNX-2401) is a conditional replication-competent oncolytic virus engineered to preferentially replicate in and lyse tumor cells with abnormality of p16/RB/E2F pathway. In a phase 1 clinical trial, Delta-24-RGD has shown favorable safety profile and promising clinical efficacy in brain tumor, which prompted us to evaluate its anticancer activity in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which also has high frequency of homozygous deletion and promoter methylation of CDKN2A encoding the p16 protein. Our results demonstrate that Delta-24-RGD can induce dramatic cytotoxicity in a subset of PDAC cell lines with high Cyclin D1 expression. Induction of autophagy and apoptosis by Delta-24-RGD in sensitive PDAC cells was confirmed with LC3B-GFP autophagy reporter and Acridine Orange staining as well as Western blotting analysis of LC3B-II expression. Notably, we found that Delta-24-RGD induced phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure in infected cells independent of cells' sensitivity to Delta-24-RGD, which renders a rationale for combination of Delta-24-RGD viral therapy and PS targeting antibody for PDAC. In a mouse PDAC model derived from a liver metastatic pancreatic cancer cell line, Delta-24-RGD significantly inhibited tumor growth compared with control (p<0.001), and combination of PS targeting antibody 1N11 further enhanced its anticancer activity (p<0.01) possibly through inducing synergistic anticancer immune responses. Given that these two agents are currently in clinical evaluation, our study warrants further clinical evaluation of this novel combination strategy in pancreatic cancer therapy.
- Received August 5, 2016.
- Revision received December 1, 2016.
- Accepted December 15, 2016.
- Copyright ©2017, American Association for Cancer Research.