Cytokine-secreting herpes viral mutants effectively treat tumor in a murine metastatic colorectal liver model by oncolytic and T-cell-dependent mechanisms

B. G. DeRubertis, B. M. Stiles, A. Bhargava, N. J. Gusani, M. Hezel, M. D'Angelica, Y. Fong

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29 Scopus citations


In this model of hepatic micrometastases, the antitumor efficacy and role of the T-cell and natural killer (NK) cell populations were studied for oncolytic herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) viral mutants containing the granulocyte-monocyte colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF (NV1034)) or interluken-12 (IL-12 (NV1042)) cytokine genes. These were compared to saline and control virus (NV1023) in vitro and in vivo. HSV-1 mutants were assessed for cytotoxicity, replication and cytokine expression in CT-26 cells. A syngeneic micrometastatic liver model was then established in naive and immune cell-depleted animals to assess the antitumor efficacy of these viruses. In vitro cytotoxicity and viral replication were similar for each virus, resulting in greater than 80 and 98% cytotoxicity at multiplicity of infection of 1 and 10, respectively. Peak viral titers were 25- to 50-fold higher than initial titer and were not significantly different between viruses. In vivo, all three viruses reduced metastases relative to control, but cytokine-secreting viruses did so with greater efficacy compared to NV1023. This effect was abrogated by T-cell depletion, but not NK-cell depletion. Single-agent therapy with oncolytic viral agents containing GM-CSF or IL-12 is effective in a murine model of liver metastases and likely involves direct viral oncolysis and actions of specific immune effector cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-597
Number of pages8
JournalCancer gene therapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2007



  • Cytokine gene therapy
  • HSV
  • Liver cancer
  • Metastases
  • Murine model
  • Oncolytic viral therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research

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