Treatment of ovarian cancer with a novel dual targeted conditionally replicative adenovirus (CRAd)

Rodney P. Rocconi, Zeng B. Zhu, Mariam Stoff-Khalili, Angel A. Rivera, Baogen Lu, Minghui Wang, Ronald D. Alvarez, David T. Curiel, Sharmila K. Makhija

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objectives.: Current virotherapy strategies for ovarian cancer have been hampered by limitations in target cell infectivity and nonspecific tissue replication. In an effort to circumvent these limitations, we evaluated various CRAds modified to incorporate novel capsid targeting motifs (RGD and chimeric Ad5/3) with a novel tissue-specific promoter (CXCR4). Methods.: Two novel CRAds (Ad5-CXCR4-F5/3 and Ad5-CXCR4-RGD) were constructed via homologous recombination and verified by PCR and DNA sequencing. The infectivity and viral replication rates of these two CRAds were analyzed via quantitative real-time PCR (QRT-PCR) in cell line experiments using three ovarian cancer cell lines (SKOV3.ip1, Hey, and OV4) and compared to that achieved with a clinical grade CRAd (Δ24-RGD) to be evaluated in a Phase I trial. Cytocidal effects were determined by crystal violet staining in these same cell lines infected with different concentrations of viral particles per cell (0, 0.1, 1, 10, 100, and 500). Additionally, viral replication was evaluated by QRT-PCR in primary ovarian cancer tissue slices from multiple patients with ovarian cancer as well as in primary human normal liver tissue slices in order to establish CRAd selectivity. All experiments incorporated appropriate controls and repeated in triplicate. Results.: Compared to RGD-capsid CRAds (Δ24-RGD and CXCR4-RGD), the F5/3-capsid CRAd (CXCR4-F5/3) demonstrated significant improvements in infection rates (p = 0.025, 0.006, and 0.006) in all ovarian cancer cell lines tested (SKOV3.ip1, Hey, and OV4, respectively). In addition to improved transduction of virus into the cells, the TSP CXCR4-based CRAds demonstrated improved viral replication. Specifically, CXCR4-F5/3 further enhanced viral replication 89-fold (p = 0.009, 0.010, 0.003) in the same cancer cell lines. Furthermore, CXCR4-F5/3 showed a 4-log improvement in oncolytic potential over Δ24-RGD. In the ex vivo primary ovarian tissue slices, CXCR4-F5/3 showed a 58-fold improvement in viral replication (p = 0.005) compared to the clinical grade Δ24-RGD. Both CXCR4-F5/3 and CXCR4-RGD demonstrated significant reduction of viral replication in normal liver slices (p = 0.001). Conclusions.: These data suggest that a dual targeted approach is feasible for the combined enhancement of infectivity and replication in ovarian cancer with a specificity that was attenuated in normal liver tissues. In fact, CXCR4-F5/3 outperformed our best CRAd agent to date nearly 60-fold in our most stringent ex vivo model of primary ovarian cancer tissue slices and suggests that this novel agent could be useful for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenovirus
  • CXCR4
  • Capsid modification
  • Gene therapy
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Tumor-specific promoter
  • Virotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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