Pre-existing Immunity to Oncolytic Virus Potentiates Its Immunotherapeutic Efficacy

PMID: 29478729
Journal: Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy (volume: 26, issue: 4, Mol. Ther. 2018 04;26(4):1008-1019)
Published: 2018-01-31

Ricca JM, Oseledchyk A, Walther T, Liu C, Mangarin L, Merghoub T, Wolchok JD, Zamarin D


Anti-viral immunity presents a major hurdle for systemically administered oncolytic viruses (OV). Intratumoral OV therapy has a potential to overcome this problem through activation of anti-tumor immune response, with local and abscopal effects. However, the effects of anti-viral immunity in such a setting are still not well defined. Using Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) as a model, we explore the effects of pre-existing anti-viral immunity on therapeutic efficacy in syngeneic mouse tumor models. Unexpectedly, we find that while pre-existing immunity to NDV limits its replication in tumors, tumor clearance, abscopal anti-tumor immune effects, and survival are not compromised and, on the contrary, are superior in NDV-immunized mice. These findings demonstrate that pre-existing immunity to NDV may increase its therapeutic efficacy through potentiation of systemic anti-tumor immunity, which provides clinical rationale for repeated therapeutic dosing and prompts investigation of such effects with other OVs.