Research Papers:

Immunoprevention of KRAS-driven lung adenocarcinoma by a multipeptide vaccine

Jing Pan, Qi Zhang, Shizuko Sei, Robert H. Shoemaker, Ronald A. Lubet, Yian Wang and Ming You _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:82689-82699. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19831

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Jing Pan1,*, Qi Zhang1,*, Shizuko Sei2, Robert H. Shoemaker2, Ronald A. Lubet2, Yian Wang1 and Ming You1

1Cancer Center and Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA

2Chemopreventive Agent Development Research Group, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Ming You, email: [email protected]

Keywords: immunoprevention, KRAS, lung adenocarcinoma, peptide vaccine, MHC class II

Received: December 06, 2016     Accepted: March 01, 2017     Published: August 01, 2017


Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Mutations in KRAS are detected in up to 30% of lung cancer cases. No effective therapies specifically targeting mutant KRAS have been developed. Vaccination against KRAS mutants is one of the venues of active exploration. The present study evaluated both immunogenicity and antitumor efficacy of a newly formulated multipeptide vaccine targeting multiple epitopes of the KRAS molecule. The formulated vaccine contained top four peptides, which elicited the strongest immunologic response and showed 100% sequence homology between human and mouse. The multipeptide KRAS vaccine was tested in an inducible CCSP-TetO-KRASG12D mouse model, where the vaccine was administered prior to activating the mutant KRAS protein. The KRAS peptide vaccine exhibited striking efficacy, reducing tumor number and tumor burden by >80% when compared with adjuvant alone. Splenocytes collected from vaccinated animals showed a robust immunologic response to the immunizing peptides. Furthermore, in vitro stimulation of these splenocytes by the vaccinated peptides resulted in the secretion of cytokines indicative of Th1 responses but with minimal secretion of Th2-related cytokines. The multipeptide KRAS vaccine was immunogenic and efficacious in the primary prevention of KRAS-induced lung cancer, indicating that the approach potentially can be used to prevent other KRAS-driven cancers, either alone or in combination with other modalities.

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