Myxoma Virus Virotherapy for Glioma in Immunocompetent Animal Models: Optimizing Administration Routes and Synergy with Rapamycin

Department of Oncology, University of Calgary, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4N1.
Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 9.28). 01/2010; 70(2):598-608. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-1510
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Oncolytic myxoma virus (MYXV) is being developed as a novel virotherapeutic against human brain cancer and has promising activity against human brain tumor models in immunocompromised hosts. Because an intact immune system could reduce its efficacy, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the oncolytic potential of MYXV in immunocompetent racine glioma models. Here, we report that MYXV infects and kills all racine cell glioma lines and that its effects are enhanced by rapamycin. Intratumoral administration of MYXV with rapamycin improved viral replication in the tumor and significantly prolonged host survival. Similarly, coadministration via a method of convection-enhanced delivery (CED) enhanced viral replication and efficacy in vivo. Mechanisms by which rapamycin improved MYXV oncolysis included an inhibition of type I IFN production in vitro and a reduction of intratumoral infiltration of CD68(+) microglia/macrophages and CD163(+) macrophages in vivo. Our findings define a method to improve MYXV efficacy against gliomas by rapamycin coadministration, which acts to promote immune responses engaged by viral delivery.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Oncolytic viruses have been seriously considered for glioma therapy over the last 20 years. The oncolytic activity of several oncolytic strains has been demonstrated against human glioma cell lines and in in vivo xenotransplant models. So far, four of these stains have additionally completed the first phase I/II trials in relapsed glioma patients. Though safety and feasibility have been demonstrated, therapeutic efficacy in these initial trials, when described, was only minor. The role of the immune system in oncolytic virotherapy for glioma remained much less studied until recent years. When investigated, the immune system, adept at controlling viral infections, is often hypothesized to be a strong hurdle to successful oncolytic virotherapy. Several preclinical studies have therefore aimed to improve oncolytic virotherapy efficacy by combining it with immune suppression or evasion strategies. More recently however, a new paradigm has developed in the oncolytic virotherapy field stating that oncolytic virus-mediated tumor cell death can be accompanied by elicitation of potent activation of innate and adaptive anti-tumor immunity that greatly improves the efficacy of certain oncolytic strains. Therefore, it seems the three-way interaction between oncolytic virus, tumor and immune system is critical to the outcome of antitumor therapy. In this review we discuss the studies which have investigated how the immune system and oncolytic viruses interact in models of glioma. The novel insights generated here hold important implications for future research and should be incorporated into the design of novel clinical trials.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Oncolytic virus therapy is being evaluated in clinical trials for human glioma. While it is widely assumed that the patient's immune response to the virus infection limits the therapy's utility, investigations into the specific cell type(s) involved in this response have been performed using non-specific pharmacological inhibitors or allogeneic models with compromised immunity. To identify the immune cells that participate in clearing an oncolytic infection in glioma, we used flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry to immunophenotype an orthotopic glioma model in immunocompetent mice after Myxoma virus (MYXV) administration. These studies revealed a large resident microglia and macrophage population in untreated tumours, and robust monocyte, T and NK cell infiltration 3 days following MYXV infection. To determine the role on the clinical utility of MYXV therapy for glioma, we used a combination of knockout mouse strains and specific immunocyte ablation techniques. Collectively, our experiments identify an important role for tumour-resident myeloid cells and overlapping roles for recruited NK and T cells in the clearance and efficacy of oncolytic MYXV from gliomas. Using a cyclophosphamide regimen to achieve lymphoablation prior and during MYXV treatment, we prevented treatment-induced peripheral immunocyte recruitment and, surprisingly, largely ablated the tumour-resident macrophage population. Virotherapy of CPA-treated animals resulted in sustained viral infection within the glioma as well as a substantial survival advantage. This study demonstrates that resistance to MYXV virotherapy in syngeneic glioma models involves a multi-faceted cellular immune response that can be overcome with CPA-mediated lymphoablation.
    Cancer Research 10/2014; DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-0876 · 9.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Myxoma virus, a rabbit poxvirus, can efficiently infect various types of mouse and human cancer cells. It is a strict rabbit-specific pathogen, and is thought to be safe as a therapeutic agent in all non-rabbit hosts tested including mice and humans. Interleukin-15 (IL15) is an immuno-modulatory cytokine with significant potential for stimulating anti-tumor T lymphocytes and NK cells. Co-expression of IL15 with the α subunit of IL15 receptor (IL15Rα) greatly enhances IL15 stability and bioavailability. Therefore, we engineered a new recombinant myxoma virus (vMyx-IL15Rα-tdTr), which expresses an IL15Rα-IL15 fusion protein plus tdTomato red fluorescent reporter protein. Permissive rabbit kidney epithelial (RK-13) cells infected with vMyx-IL15Rα-tdTr expressed and secreted the IL15Rα-IL15 fusion protein. Functional activity was confirmed by demonstrating that the secreted fusion protein stimulated proliferation of cytokine-dependent CTLL-2 cells. Multi-step growth curves showed that murine melanoma (B16-F10 and B16.SIY) cell lines were permissive to vMyx-IL15Rα-tdTr infection. In vivo experiments in RAG1-/- mice showed that subcutaneous B16-F10 tumors treated with vMyx-IL15Rα-tdTr exhibited attenuated tumor growth and a significant survival benefit for the treated group compared to the PBS control and the control viruses (vMyx-IL15-tdTr and vMyx-tdTr). Immunohistological analysis of the subcutaneous tumors showed dramatically increased infiltration of NK cells in vMyx-IL15Rα-tdTr treated tumors compared to the controls. In vivo experiments with immunocompetent C57BL/6 mice revealed a strong infiltrate of both NK cells and CD8+ T cells in response to vMyx-IL15Rα-tdTr, and prolonged survival. We conclude that delivery of IL15Rα-IL15 in a myxoma virus vector stimulates both innate and adaptive components of the immune system.
    PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e109801. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0109801 · 3.53 Impact Factor