Background: A major hurdle incurrent to the human clinical application of conditionally replicative adenovirus (CRAd)-based virotherapy agents is their limited therapeutic efficacy. In this study we evaluated whether arming our previously reported Ad5/3Δ24 CRAd vector containing a 24-base pair deletion in the E1A conserved region 2, which allows selective replication within Rb-p16-deficient tumor cells, to express therapeutic genes could improve oncolytic virus potency in ovarian cancer cells. We choose to assess the therapeutic benefits achieved by virus-mediated expression of interleukin 24 (IL-24), a cytokine-like protein of the IL-10 family, and the inhibitor of growth 4 (ING4) tumor suppressor protein. Results: The generated CRAd-IL24 and CRAd-ING4 vectors were tested in ovarian cancer cell lines in vitro to compare their replication, yield, and cytotoxic effects with control CRAd Ad5/3δ24 lacking the therapeutic gene. These studies showed that CRAd-IL24 infection resulted in significantly increased yield of infectious particles, which translated to a marked enhancement of virus-induced cytotoxic effects as compared to CRAd-ING4 and non-armed CRAd. Testing CRAd-IL24 and CRAd-ING4 vectors combined together did not revealed synergistic effects exceeding oncolytic potency of single CRAD-IL24 vector. Both CRAds were also tested along with anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody Avastin and showed no significant augmentation of viral cytolysis by anti-angiogenesis treatment in vitro. Conclusions: Our studies validated that arming with these key immunomodulatory genes was not deleterious to virus-mediated oncolysis. These findings thus, warrant further preclinical studies of CRAd-IL24 tumoricidal efficacy in murine ovarian cancer models to establish its potential utility for the virotherapy of primary and advanced neoplastic diseases.
- Ovarian cancer