Oncolytic peptides DTT-205 and DTT-304 induce complete regression and protective immune response in experimental murine colorectal cancer

Sci Rep. 2021 Mar 24;11(1):6731. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-86239-6.


Oncolytic peptides represent a novel, promising cancer treatment strategy with activity in a broad spectrum of cancer entities, including colorectal cancer (CRC). Cancer cells are killed by immunogenic cell death, causing long-lasting anticancer immune responses, a feature of particular interest in non-immunogenic CRC. Oncolytic peptides DTT-205 and DTT-304 were administered by intratumoral injection in subcutaneous tumors established from murine CRC cell lines CT26 and MC38, and complete regression was obtained in the majority of animals. When cured animals were rechallenged by splenic injection of tumor cells, 1/23 animals developed liver metastases, compared to 19/22 naïve animals. Treatment with both peptides was well tolerated, but monitoring post-injection hemodynamic parameters in rats, less extensive changes were observed with DTT-205 than DTT-304, favoring DTT-205 for future drug development. DTT-205 was subsequently shown to have strong in vitro activity in a panel of 33 cancer cell lines. In conclusion, both peptides exerted a strong inhibitory effect in two immunocompetent CRC models and induced a systemic effect preventing development of liver metastases upon splenic rechallenge. If a similar effect could be obtained in humans, these drugs would be of particular interest for combinatory treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors in metastatic CRC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Immunity / drug effects*
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Proteolysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Peptides