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J Virol. 2005 May;79(10):6005-22.

Targeting human glioblastoma cells: comparison of nine viruses with oncolytic potential.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St., New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Brain tumors classified as glioblastomas have proven refractory to treatment and generally result in death within a year of diagnosis. We used seven in vitro tests and one in vivo trial to compare the efficacy of nine different viruses for targeting human glioblastoma. Green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing vesicular stomatitis (VSV), Sindbis virus, pseudorabies virus (PRV), adeno-associated virus (AAV), and minute virus of mice i-strain (MVMi) and MVMp all infected glioblastoma cells. Mouse and human cytomegalovirus, and simian virus 40 showed only low levels of infection or GFP expression. VSV and Sindbis virus showed strong cytolytic actions and high rates of replication and spread, leading to an elimination of glioblastoma. PRV and both MVM strains generated more modest lytic effects and replication capacity. VSV showed a similar oncolytic profile on U-87 MG and M059J glioblastoma. In contrast, Sindbis virus showed strong preference for U-87 MG, whereas MVMi and MVMp preferred M059J. Sindbis virus and both MVM strains showed highly tumor-selective actions in glioblastoma plus fibroblast coculture. VSV and Sindbis virus were serially passaged on glioblastoma cells; we isolated a variant, VSV-rp30, that had increased selectivity and lytic capacity in glioblastoma cells. VSV and Sindbis virus were very effective at replicating, spreading within, and selectively killing human glioblastoma in an in vivo mouse model, whereas PRV and AAV remained at the injection site with minimal spread. Together, these data suggest that four (VSV, Sindbis virus, MVMi, and MVMp) of the nine viruses studied merit further analysis for potential therapeutic actions on glioblastoma.

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