Molecular therapy oncolytics

A novel, polymer-coated oncolytic measles virus overcomes immune suppression and induces robust antitumor activity.

PMID 27847861


Although various therapies are available to treat cancers, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, cancer has been the leading cause of death in Japan for the last 30 years, and new therapeutic modalities are urgently needed. As a new modality, there has recently been great interest in oncolytic virotherapy, with measles virus being a candidate virus expected to show strong antitumor effects. The efficacy of virotherapy, however, was strongly limited by the host immune response in previous clinical trials. To enhance and prolong the antitumor activity of virotherapy, we combined the use of two newly developed tools: the genetically engineered measles virus (MV-NPL) and the multilayer virus-coating method of layer-by-layer deposition of ionic polymers. We compared the oncolytic effects of this polymer-coated MV-NPL with the naked MV-NPL, both in vitro and in vivo. In the presence of anti-MV neutralizing antibodies, the polymer-coated virus showed more enhanced oncolytic activity than did the naked MV-NPL in vitro. We also examined antitumor activities in virus-treated mice. Complement-dependent cytotoxicity and antitumor activities were higher in mice treated with polymer-coated MV-NPL than in mice treated with the naked virus. This novel, polymer-coated MV-NPL is promising for clinical cancer therapy in the future.