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Cancer Gene Ther. 2007 Jun;14(6):533-42. Epub 2007 Apr 6.

Suitability of a US3-inactivated HSV mutant (L1BR1) as an oncolytic virus for pancreatic cancer therapy.

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Department of Surgery II, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan.


Recently, the use of oncolytic viruses against cancer has attracted considerable attention. We studied the potential of the US3 locus-deficient herpes simplex virus (HSV), L1BR1, for oncolytic virus therapy. Its high specificity and potency indicate that L1BR1 is a promising candidate as a new oncolytic virus against pancreatic cancer. Moreover, the virus exhibited the unique characteristic of increasing apoptosis when used in combination with anticancer drugs. We assessed the feasibility of using the US3 locus-deficient HSV named L1BR1 as a new replication-competent oncolytic virus for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. The US3 locus of HSV has been shown to be a key gene in producing a multifunctional protein kinase that inhibits apoptosis induced by viral infections, chemicals and ultraviolet (UV) light. L1BR1 has been reported to be more than 10 000-fold less virulent than the parental virus in mice. In this study, we examined the tumor specificity and oncolytic effect of this attenuated replication-competent virus, L1BR1, in pancreatic cancers derived from SW1990, Capan2 and Bxpc-3cells compared with the parent virus and other well-known oncolytic herpes viruses (R3616 and hrR3). We also studied the efficacy of L1BR1 for the induction of apoptosis as an attribute of this virus in combination with the anticancer drugs 5FU and cisplatin. The combined treatment of the pancreatic cancer cells with L1BR1 and these anticancer drugs enhanced apoptosis significantly. More importantly, L1BR1 showed the lowest replication capacity in normal human hepatocytes, but the highest tumor-reducing effect in vivo among the oncolytic herpes viruses tested. In addition, L1BR1 significantly increased the induction of apoptosis of cancer cells when treated in combination with anticancer drugs although the parental virus inhibited the induction of apoptosis. These results suggest that L1BR1 is promising as a new anticancer oncolytic virus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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