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Cancer Gene Ther. 2010 Dec;17(12):883-92. doi: 10.1038/cgt.2010.46. Epub 2010 Aug 20.

Susceptibility of breast cancer cells to an oncolytic matrix (M) protein mutant of vesicular stomatitis virus.

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Department of Biochemistry, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 25157, USA.


Matrix (M) protein mutants of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), such as rM51R-M virus, are attractive candidates as oncolytic viruses for tumor therapies because of their capacity to selectively target cancer cells. The effectiveness of rM51R-M virus as an antitumor agent for the treatment of breast cancer was assessed by determining the ability of rM51R-M virus to infect and kill breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Several human- and mouse-derived breast cancer cell lines were susceptible to infection and killing by rM51R-M virus. Importantly, non-tumorigenic cell lines from normal mammary tissues were also sensitive to VSV infection suggesting that oncogenic transformation does not alter the susceptibility of breast cancer cells to oncolytic VSV. In contrast to results obtained in vitro, rM51R-M virus was only partially effective at inducing regression of primary breast tumors in vivo. Furthermore, we were unable to induce complete regression of the primary and metastatic tumors when tumor-bearing mice were treated with a vector expressing interleukin (IL)-12 or a combination of rM51R-M virus and IL-12. Our results indicate that although breast cancer cells may be susceptible to VSV in vitro, more aggressive treatment combinations are required to effectively treat both local and metastatic breast cancers in vivo.

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