Effects of preexisting immunity on the response to herpes simplex-based oncolytic viral therapy

K. A. Delman, J. J. Bennett, J. S. Zager, B. M. Burt, P. F. McAuliffe, H. Petrowsky, D. A. Kooby, W. G. Hawkins, B. C. Horsburgh, P. Johnson, Y. Fong

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85 Scopus citations


Herpes simplex viruses (HSV) type 1 are the basis of a number of anticancer strategies that have proven efficacious in animal models. They are natural human pathogens and the majority of adults have anti-HSV immunity. The current study examined the effect of preexisting immunity on the response to herpes-based oncolytic viral treatment of hepatic metastatic cancer in a murine model designed to simulate a clinical approach likely to be utilized for nonneurological tumors. Specifically, the anticancer effects of NV1020 or G207, two multimutated HSV-1 oncolytic viruses, were tested in immunocompetent mice previously immunized with a wild-type herpes simplex type 1 virus. Mice were documented to have humoral as well as cell-mediated immunity to HSV-1. Tumor response to oncolytic therapy was not measurably abrogated by immunity to HSV at the doses tested. The influence of route of viral administration was also tested in models of regional hepatic arterial and intravenous therapy. Route of viral administration influenced efficacy, as virus delivered intravenously produced some detectable attenuation while hepatic arterial therapy remained unaffected. These results demonstrate that when given at appropriate doses and in reasonable proximity to tumor targets, HSV-based oncolytic therapy can still be expected to be effective treatment for patients with hepatic malignancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2465-2472
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number18
StatePublished - Dec 10 2000


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