Oncolytic adenoviruses hold promise as a new treatment platform for cancer, but limitations have been identified, including limited spread and potency. The adenoviral protein E1B-19 kDa is a Bcl-2 homologue that blocks apoptosis induction via the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways, specifically including tumor necrosis factor-mediated cell death. We demonstrate that an E1B-19 kDa gene deletion mutant had tumor necrosis factor-enhanced cancer selectivity, in vitro and in vivo, due to genetic blocks in apoptosis pathways in cancer cells. In addition, this mutant demonstrated significantly enhanced viral spread and antitumoral potency relative to dl 1520 (aka Onyx-015) and wild-type adenovirus in vitro. Significant antitumoral efficacy was demonstrated in vivo by intratumoral and intravenous routes of administration. E1B-19 kDa deletion should be considered as a feature of oncolytic adenoviruses to enhance their safety, spread, and efficacy.
- Experimental therapeutics