The efficacy of traditional therapies for oral carcinoma (OC) is limited. Oncolytic adenovirus, a novel strategy of cancer therapy, shows potential use in OC treatment. However, its clinical application is limited by pre-existing neutralizing antibodies. Thus, this study aimed to examine the efficacy of a new modified adenovirus against OC in vitro and in vivo. A multiple modified adenovirus (MMAD) armed with IL-13 (MMAD-IL-13) was constructed, and its effect on Cal-27 cells was examined. The potency of MMAD-IL-13 was examined in vitro and in vivo. For in vitro experiment, CCK-8 kit was used to determine the IC50 of MMAD-IL-3 in OC cell lines. For in vivo experiment, Cal-27 xenograft models were used to determine the antitumor effect of MMAD-IL-13. Apoptosis was measured in Cal-27 cells by Western blotting assay. Immunity response was detected in Cal-27 xenograft models 7 days after intratumoral injection with MMAD-IL-13. The potency of MMAD and MMAD-IL-13 was compared in Cal-27 peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) models. MMAD-IL-13 was successfully constructed; the harvested virus could be replicated and they overexpressed human IL-13 in Cal-27 cells. Compared with MMAD, MMAD-IL-13 showed enhanced antitumor effect in vitro by inducing apoptosis and reducing percentage of M2 macrophages in tumor environment in vivo. MMAD-IL-13 also showed potent antitumor effect in Cal-27, SCC-4, and Tca8113 cells in vitro and in Cal-27 xenograft models in vivo. However, MMAD-IL13 did not harm normal human oral epithelial cells in vitro and exhibited no effect on body weight in Cal-27 xenograft models. In Cal-27 PBMC models, MMAD-IL-13 showed stronger antitumor effect than MMAD. A new oncolytic adenovirus carrying the human IL-13 gene was constructed. This virus effectively led to remission of tumor development and death of OC cells in vivo and in vitro, showing its potential as a clinical cancer therapy.
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