Intralesional injection of herpes simplex virus 1716 in metastatic melanoma

Lancet. 2001 Feb 17;357(9255):525-6. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(00)04048-4.


We have previously shown that avirulent but replication-competent herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1716 causes cell death in human melanoma cell lines in vitro and selectively replicates in melanoma tissue in nude mice. We now present a pilot study of intratumoral injection of HSV1716 into subcutaneous nodules of metastatic melanoma in five patients with stage 4 melanoma. Two patients each received one injection, two received two injections, and one received four injections of 10(3) plaque-forming units HSV1716. In one patient, flattening of previously palpable tumour nodules was seen 21 days after two direct injections of HSV1716, and in injected nodules from all three patients who received two or more injections there was microscopic evidence of tumour necrosis. Immunohistochemical staining of injected nodules revealed evidence of virus replication confined to tumour cells. These findings suggest that HSV1716 is non-toxic and could be of therapeutic benefit in patients with metastatic melanoma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / secondary
  • Melanoma / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Simplexvirus / genetics
  • Simplexvirus / physiology*
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Virus Replication


  • Viral Proteins
  • gamma 34.5 protein, Human herpesvirus 1