The combination of intravenous Reolysin and gemcitabine induces reovirus replication and endoplasmic reticular stress in a patient with KRAS-activated pancreatic cancer

Devalingam Mahalingam*, Sukeshi Patel, Gerard Nuovo, George Gill, Giovanni Selvaggi, Matt Coffey, Steffan T. Nawrocki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Activating mutations in RAS are present in the majority of pancreatic cancer cases and represent an ideal therapeutic target. Reolysin is a proprietary formulation of oncolytic reovirus that is currently being evaluated in multiple clinical trials due to its ability to selectively replicate in cells harboring an activated RAS pathway. Here we report for the first time the presence of reovirus replication and induction of endoplasmic reticular (ER) stress in a primary tumor specimen collected from a pancreatic cancer patient receiving intravenous Reolysin and gemcitabine. Case presentation: We describe the case of a 54-year old patient diagnosed with pancreatic adenocarcinoma in February 2012. Analysis of a tumor biopsy revealed an activating KRAS mutation (G12D) and the patient was started on first-line treatment with Reolysin in combination with gemcitabine in March 2012. Stable disease was achieved with significant improvement in cancer-related pain. Following 25 cycles of treatment over 23 months, a second biopsy was collected and immunohistochemical analyses revealed the presence of reovirus replication and induction of the ER stress-related gene GRP78/BIP and the pro-apoptotic protein NOXA. Importantly, co-localization of reoviral protein and active caspase-3 was also observed in the biopsy specimen. Conclusion: This is the first report of reoviral protein detection in primary tumor biopsies taken from a pancreatic cancer patient receiving intravenous Reolysin therapy. The accumulation of reoviral protein was associated with ER stress induction and caspase-3 processing suggesting that Reolysin and gemcitabine treatment exhibited direct pro-apoptotic activity against the tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number513
JournalBMC cancer
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 10 2015

Keywords

  • ER stress
  • Gemcitabine
  • NOXA
  • Oncolytic virus
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • RAS
  • Reolysin
  • Reovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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