Development of Coxsackievirus B3 as an Oncolytic Virus for KRAS-Mutant Lung Cancer Treatment
In Canada, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for both sexes. Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) constitutes ~85% of lung cancer cases. Mutations in the KRAS and EGFR genes are two most common oncogenic drivers for NSCLC and responsible for ~30% and ~15% of NSCLCs, respectively. Unlike the EGFR-mutant type, KRAS-mutant NSCLC is currently undruggable and associated with poor prognosis. Our lab has recently demonstrated that Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) is a potent oncolytic virus against KRAS-mutant NSCLC. Nevertheless, it was observed that efficient tumor suppression is accompanied with damage to multiple organs, particularly the heart. Here we propose to develop an innovative CVB3-based oncolytic virus with enhanced tumor-specificity. If a therapeutic effect is achieved, the clinical significance may grant Virogin Biotech Ltd. one possibility to provide the first-ever effective and safe treatment for this deadly disease for Canadians.