Assessment of a combined, adenovirus-mediated oncolytic and immunostimulatory tumor therapy

Kathrin Maria Bernt, Shaoheng Ni, Anh-Thu Tieu, André Lieber
Cancer Research 2005 May 15, 65 (10): 4343-52
In this study, we identified murine breast cancer cell lines that support DNA replication of E1-deleted adenovirus vectors and which can be killed by an oncolytic adenovirus expressing adenovirus E1A and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) in a replication-dependent manner (Ad.IR-E1A/TRAIL). We showed that systemic or intratumoral (i.t.) injection of adenovirus vectors into mice increases plasma levels of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, including TNF-alpha, INF-gamma, and MCP-1, which are potent inducers of dendritic cell maturation. Furthermore, we showed that in vivo expression of Flt3L from an adenovirus vector increases the number of CD11b+ and CD11c+ cells (populations that include dendritic cells) in the blood circulation. Based on these findings, we tested whether Ad.IR-E1A/TRAIL induced killing of tumor cells in combination with dendritic cell mobilization by Ad.Flt3L or, for comparison, Ad.GM-CSF would have an additive antitumor effect. As a model, we used immunocompetent C3H mice with syngeneic s.c. tumors derived from C3L5 cells. We found that vaccination of mice with C3L5 cells that underwent viral oncolysis in combination with Flt3L or granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) expression induces a systemic antitumor immune response. I.t. injection of the oncolytic and Flt3L expressing vectors into established tumors delayed tumor growth but did not cause efficient tumor elimination. This study shows the effectiveness of a combined oncolytic/immunostimulatory tumor therapy approach.

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