Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is still the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Despite the introduction of tyrosine kinase inhibitors and immunotherapeutic approaches, there is still an urgent need for novel strategies to improve patient survival. ROS1, a tyrosine kinase receptor endowed with oncoantigen features, is activated by chromosomal rearrangement or overexpression in NSCLC and in several tumor histotypes. In this work, we have exploited transgenic mice harboring the activated K-Ras oncogene (K-RasG12D) that spontaneously develop metastatic NSCLC as a preclinical model to test the efficacy of ROS1 immune targeting. Indeed, qPCR and immunohistochemical analyses revealed ROS1 overexpression in the autochthonous primary tumors and extrathoracic metastases developed by K-RasG12D mice and in a derived transplantable cell line. As proof of concept, we have evaluated the effects of the intramuscular electroporation (electrovaccination) of plasmids coding for mouse- and human-ROS1 on the progression of these NSCLC models. A significant increase in survival was observed in ROS1-electrovaccinated mice challenged with the transplantable cell line. It is worth noting that tumors were completely rejected, and immune memory was achieved, albeit only in a few mice. Most importantly, ROS1 electrovaccination was also found to be effective in slowing the development of autochthonous NSCLC in K-RasG12D mice.



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