Oncolytic viral vectors in the era of diversified cancer therapy: from preclinical to clinical.
ABSTRACT: With the in-depth research and wide application of immunotherapy recently, new therapies based on oncolytic viruses are expected to create new prospects for cancer treatment via eliminating the suppression of the immune system by tumors. Currently, an increasing number of viruses are developed and engineered, and various virus vectors based on effectively stimulating human immune system to kill tumor cells have been approved for clinical treatment. Although the virus can retard the proliferation of tumor cells, the choice of oncolytic viruses in biological cancer therapy is equally critical given their therapeutic efficacy, safety and adverse effects. Moreover, previously known oncolytic viruses have not been systematically classified. Therefore, in this review, we summarized and distinguished the characteristics of several common types of oncolytic viruses: herpes simplex virus, adenovirus, measles virus, Newcastle disease virus, reovirus and respiratory syncytial virus. Subsequently, we outlined that these oncolytic viral vectors have been transformed from preclinical studies in combination with immunotherapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and nanoparticles into clinical therapeutic strategies for various advanced solid malignancies or circulatory system cancers.
Project description:Oncolytic immunotherapy is a research area of cancer immunotherapy investigating the use of modified viruses to target cancer cells. A variety of different viral backbones (e.g., adenovirus, reovirus) with a diverse range of genetic modifications are currently being investigated for the treatment of a variety of cancers. The oncolytic virus that has advanced the furthest in clinical development is talimogene laherparepvec, a recombinant HSV-1 virus expressing granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). In a phase 3 study in patients with unresectable metastatic melanoma, intralesional talimogene laherparepvec treatment resulted in a higher durable response rate compared with subcutaneous GM-CSF treatment (16.3 versus 2.1%; P < 0.001). Notably, responses were observed at uninjected lesions including visceral lesions, indicating a systemic antitumor response had occurred. Studies evaluating combination treatments involving oncolytic viruses and immunologic agents are ongoing. This review focuses on the mechanisms of action for oncolytic viruses and highlights select agents and combinations currently in development.
Project description:Oncolytic viruses (OV) have recently emerged as a promising therapeutic modality in cancer treatment. OV selectively infect and kill tumor cells, while sparing untransformed cells. The direct cytotoxic effects combined with the capacity to trigger an immune response make OV an appealing combination partner in the burgeoning field of cancer immunotherapy. One of the leading OV therapeutic candidates is the double-stranded RNA virus reovirus. In order to improve the oncolytic activity of reovirus and allow for systemic administration despite the prevalence of neutralizing antibodies, cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells were explored as cell carriers for reovirus delivery. In this study, CIK cells were successfully loaded with reovirus ex vivo, and viral replication was limited in CIK cells. Confocal microscopy and flow cytometry demonstrated that CIK cells retained reovirus on the surface. Moreover, CIK cells could promote reovirus infection of tumor cells in the presence of neutralizing antibodies; meanwhile, cytotoxicity of CIK cells was increased after loading with reovirus. These findings support further investigation of reovirus and CIK combination for antitumor therapy.
Project description:Oncolytic virus therapy is perhaps the next major breakthrough in cancer treatment following the success in immunotherapy using immune checkpoint inhibitors. Oncolytic viruses are defined as genetically engineered or naturally occurring viruses that selectively replicate in and kill cancer cells without harming the normal tissues. T-Vec (talimogene laherparepvec), a second-generation oncolytic herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) armed with GM-CSF, was recently approved as the first oncolytic virus drug in the USA and Europe. The phase III trial proved that local intralesional injections with T-Vec in advanced malignant melanoma patients can not only suppress the growth of injected tumors but also act systemically and prolong overall survival. Other oncolytic viruses that are closing in on drug approval in North America and Europe include vaccinia virus JX-594 (pexastimogene devacirepvec) for hepatocellular carcinoma, GM-CSF-expressing adenovirus CG0070 for bladder cancer, and Reolysin (pelareorep), a wild-type variant of reovirus, for head and neck cancer. In Japan, a phase II clinical trial of G47?, a third-generation oncolytic HSV-1, is ongoing in glioblastoma patients. G47? was recently designated as a "Sakigake" breakthrough therapy drug in Japan. This new system by the Japanese government should provide G47? with priority reviews and a fast-track drug approval by the regulatory authorities. Whereas numerous oncolytic viruses have been subjected to clinical trials, the common feature that is expected to play a major role in prolonging the survival of cancer patients is an induction of specific antitumor immunity in the course of tumor-specific viral replication. It appears that it will not be long before oncolytic virus therapy becomes a standard therapeutic option for all cancer patients.
Project description:Viruses that specifically replicate in tumor over normal cells offer promising cancer therapies. Oncolytic viruses (OV) not only kill the tumor cells directly; they also promote anti-tumor immunotherapeutic responses. Other major advantages of OVs are that they dose-escalate in tumors and can be genetically engineered to enhance potency and specificity. Unmodified wild type reovirus is a propitious OV currently in phase I-III clinical trials. This review summarizes modifications to reovirus that may improve potency and/or specificity during oncolysis. Classical genetics approaches have revealed reovirus variants with improved adaptation towards tumors or with enhanced ability to establish specific steps of virus replication and cell killing among transformed cells. The recent emergence of a reverse genetics system for reovirus has provided novel strategies to fine-tune reovirus proteins or introduce exogenous genes that could promote oncolytic activity. Over the next decade, these findings are likely to generate better-optimized second-generation reovirus vectors and improve the efficacy of oncolytic reotherapy.
Project description:Measles virus (MeV) preferentially replicates in malignant cells, leading to tumor lysis and priming of antitumor immunity. Live attenuated MeV vaccine strains are therefore under investigation as cancer therapeutics. The versatile MeV reverse genetics systems allows for engineering of advanced targeted, armed, and shielded oncolytic viral vectors. Therapeutic efficacy can further be enhanced by combination treatments. An emerging focus in this regard is combination immunotherapy, especially with immune checkpoint blockade. Despite challenges arising from antiviral immunity, availability of preclinical models, and GMP production, early clinical trials have demonstrated safety of oncolytic MeV and yielded promising efficacy data. Future clinical trials with engineered viruses, rational combination regimens, and comprehensive translational research programs will realize the potential of oncolytic immunotherapy.
Project description:Oncolytic viruses are a new class of therapeutics which are largely in the experimental stage, with just one virus approved by the FDA thus far. While the concept of oncolytic virotherapy is not new, advancements in the fields of molecular biology and virology have renewed the interest in using viruses as oncolytic agents. Backed by robust preclinical data, many oncolytic viruses have entered clinical trials. Oncolytic viruses that have completed some levels of clinical trials or are currently undergoing clinical trials are mostly genetically engineered viruses, with the exception of some RNA viruses. Reolysin, an unmodified RNA virus is clinically the most advanced oncolytic RNA virus that has completed different phases of clinical trials. Other oncolytic viruses that have been studied in clinical trials are mostly DNA viruses that belong to one of the three families: herpesviridae, poxviridae or adenoviridae. In this review work we discuss recent clinical studies with oncolytic viruses, especially herpesvirus, poxvirus, adenovirus and reovirus. In summary, the oncolytic viruses tested so far are well tolerated, even in immune-suppressed patients. For most oncolytic viruses, mild and acceptable toxicities are seen at the currently defined highest feasible doses. However, anti-tumor efficacies of oncolytic viruses have been modest, especially when used as monotherapy. Therefore, the potency of oncolytic viruses needs to be enhanced for more oncolytic viruses to hit the clinic. Aiming to achieve higher therapeutic benefits, oncolytic viruses are currently being studied in combination with other therapies. Here we discuss the currently available clinical data on oncolytic viruses, either as monotherapy or in combination with other treatments.
Project description:Optimum clinical protocols require systemic delivery of oncolytic viruses in the presence of an intact immune system. We show that preconditioning with immune modulators, or loading virus onto carrier cells ex vivo, enhances virus-mediated antitumor activity. Our early trials of systemic reovirus delivery showed that after infusion reovirus could be recovered from blood cells--but not from plasma--suggesting that rapid association with blood cells may protect virus from neutralizing antibody. We therefore postulated that stimulation of potential carrier cells directly in vivo before intravenous viral delivery would enhance delivery of cell-associated virus to tumor. We show that mobilization of the CD11b(+) cell compartment by granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor immediately before intravenous reovirus, eliminated detectable tumor in mice with small B16 melanomas, and achieved highly significant therapy in mice bearing well-established tumors. Unexpectedly, cytokine conditioning therapy was most effective in the presence of preexisting neutralizing antibody. Consistent with this, reovirus bound by neutralizing antibody effectively accessed monocytes/macrophages and was handed off to tumor cells. Thus, preconditioning with cytokine stimulated recipient cells in vivo for enhanced viral delivery to tumors. Moreover, preexisting neutralizing antibody to an oncolytic virus may, therefore, even be exploited for systemic delivery to tumors in the clinic.
Project description:Mammalian reovirus (MRV) strain type 3 Dearing (T3D) is a naturally occurring oncolytic virus that has been developed as a potential cancer therapeutic. However, MRV treatment cannot be applied to cancer cells expressing low levels of junctional adhesion molecule A (JAM-A), which is the entry receptor of MRV. In this study, we developed a reverse genetics system for MRV strain T3D-L, which showed high oncolytic potency. To modify the cell tropism of MRV, an arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) peptide with an affinity to integrin was inserted at the C terminus or loop structures of the viral cell attachment protein σ1. The recombinant RGD σ1-modified viruses induced remarkable cell lysis in human cancer cell lines with marginal JAM-A expression and in JAM-A knockout cancer cell lines generated by a CRISPR/Cas9 system. Pretreatment of cells with anti-integrin antibody decreased cell death caused by the RGD σ1-modified virus, suggesting the infection to the cells was via a specific interaction with integrin αV. By using mouse models, we assessed virulence of the RGD σ1-modified viruses <i>in vivo</i> This system will open new avenues for the use of genetically modified oncolytic MRV for use as a cancer therapy.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> Oncolytic viruses kill tumors without affecting normal cells. A variety of oncolytic viruses are used as cancer therapeutics. Mammalian reovirus (MRV), which belongs to the genus <i>Orthoreovirus</i>, family <i>Reoviridae</i>, is one such natural oncolytic virus. The anticancer effects of MRV are being evaluated in clinical trials. Unlike other oncolytic viruses, MRV has not been genetically modified for use as a cancer therapeutic in clinical trials. Here, we used a reverse genetic approach to introduce an integrin-affinity peptide sequence into the MRV cell attachment protein σ1 to alter the natural tropism of the virus. The recombinant viruses were able to infect cancer cell lines expressing very low levels of the MRV entry receptor, junctional adhesion molecule A (JAM-A), and cause tumor cell death while maintaining its original tropism via JAM-A. This is a novel report of a genetically modified oncolytic MRV by introducing a peptide sequence into σ1.
Project description:Oncolytic viruses (OV) kill tumour cells directly and induce anti-tumour immunity. We analysed gene expression profiles in human NK cells following treatment of PBMC with oncolytic reovirus in vitro.
Project description:Cancer stem cells (CSCs), also termed "cancer-initiating cells" or "cancer progenitor cells," which have the ability to self-renew, proliferate, and maintain the neoplastic clone, have recently been discovered in a wide variety of pediatric tumors. These CSCs are thought to be responsible for tumorigenesis and tumor maintenance, aggressiveness, and recurrence due to inherent resistance to current treatment modalities such as chemotherapy and radiation. Oncolytic virotherapy offers a novel, targeted approach for eradicating pediatric CSCs using mechanisms of cell killing that differ from conventional therapies. Moreover, oncolytic viruses have the ability to target specific features of CSCs such as cell-surface proteins, transcription factors, and the CSC microenvironment. Through genetic engineering, a wide variety of foreign genes may be expressed by oncolytic viruses to augment the oncolytic effect. We review the current data regarding the ability of several types of oncolytic viruses (herpes simplex virus-1, adenovirus, reovirus, Seneca Valley virus, vaccinia virus, Newcastle disease virus, myxoma virus, vesicular stomatitis virus) to target and kill both CSCs and tumor cells in pediatric tumors. We highlight advantages and limitations of each virus and potential ways in which next-generation engineered viruses may target resilient CSCs.