Journal of translational medicine

Combination treatment with oncolytic Vaccinia virus and cyclophosphamide results in synergistic antitumor effects in human lung adenocarcinoma bearing mice.

PMID 25030093


The capacity of the recombinant Vaccinia virus GLV-1h68 as a single agent to efficiently treat different human or canine cancers has been shown in several preclinical studies. Currently, its human safety and efficacy are investigated in phase I/II clinical trials. In this study we set out to evaluate the oncolytic activity of GLV-1h68 in the human lung adenocarcinoma cell line PC14PE6-RFP in cell cultures and analyzed the antitumor potency of a combined treatment strategy consisting of GLV-1h68 and cyclophosphamide (CPA) in a mouse model of PC14PE6-RFP lung adenocarcinoma. PC14PE6-RFP cells were treated in cell culture with GLV-1h68. Viral replication and cell survival were determined by plaque assays and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays, respectively. Subcutaneously implanted PC14PE6-RFP xenografts were treated by systemic injection of GLV-1h68, CPA or a combination of both. Tumor growth and viral biodistribution were monitored and immune-related antigen profiling of tumor lysates was performed. GLV-1h68 efficiently infected, replicated in and lysed human PC14PE6-RFP cells in cell cultures. PC14PE6-RFP tumors were efficiently colonized by GLV-1h68 leading to much delayed tumor growth in PC14PE6-RFP tumor-bearing nude mice. Combination treatment with GLV-1h68 and CPA significantly improved the antitumor efficacy of GLV-1h68 and led to an increased viral distribution within the tumors. Pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines were distinctly elevated in tumors of GLV-1h68-treated mice. Factors expressed by endothelial cells or present in the blood were decreased after combination treatment. A complete loss in the hemorrhagic phenotype of the PC14PE6-RFP tumors and a decrease in the number of blood vessels after combination treatment could be observed. CPA and GLV-1h68 have synergistic antitumor effects on PC14PE6-RFP xenografts. We strongly suppose that in the PC14PE6-RFP model the enhanced tumor growth inhibition achieved by combining GLV-1h68 with CPA is due to an effect on the vasculature rather than an immunosuppressive action of CPA. These results provide evidence to support further preclinical studies of combining GLV-1h68 and CPA in other highly angiogenic tumor models. Moreover, data presented here demonstrate that CPA can be combined successfully with GLV-1h68 based oncolytic virus therapy and therefore might be promising as combination therapy in human clinical trials.