The use of a genetically engineered herpes simplex virus (R7020) with ionizing radiation for experimental hepatoma

S. M. Chung, S. J. Advani, J. D. Bradley, Y. Kataoka, K. Vashistha, S. Y. Yan, J. M. Markert, G. Y. Gillespie, R. J. Whitley, B. Roizman, R. R. Weichselbaum

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    57 Scopus citations


    The herpes simplex virus (HSV) recombinant virus R7020 is an attenuated virus designed as a candidate for immunization against both HSV-1 and HSV-2 infections. It was extensively tested in an experimental animal system and in a healthy human adult population without significant untoward effects. We report on the use of R7020 with ionizing radiation as an oncolytic agent for hepatomas. Two hepatoma cell lines were studied, Hep3B and Huh7. R7020 replicated to higher titers in Hep3B cells than in Huh7 cells. Tissue culture studies correlated with hepatoma xenograft responses to R7020. R7020 was more effective in mediating Hep3B tumor xenograft regression compared with Huh7. Ionizing radiation combined with R7020 also showed differential results in antitumor efficacy between the two cell lines in tumor xenografts. Ionizing radiation enhanced the replication of R7020 in Hep3B xenografts. Moreover, the combination of ionizing radiation and virus caused a greater regression of xenograft volume than either R7020 or radiation alone. Ionizing radiation had no effect on the replication of R7020 virus in Huh7 xenografts. These results indicate that a regimen involving infection with an appropriate herpesvirus such as R7020 in combination with ionizing radiation can be highly effective in eradicating certain tumor xenografts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)75-80
    Number of pages6
    JournalGene therapy
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 2002


    • Gene therapy
    • HSV


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