Treatment of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma in vitro with a mutant vaccinia virus

Surgery. 2007 Dec;142(6):976-83; discussion 976-83. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2007.09.017. Epub 2007 Nov 5.


Background: Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is a fatal disease resistant to all conventional treatments. Novel therapies are needed to improve dismal outcomes.

Methods: A replication-competent vaccinia virus (GLV-1h68) was engineered by inserting expression cassettes encoding Renilla luciferase-green fluorescent protein (GFP), beta-galactosidase, and beta-glucuronidase into the genome of LIVP strain. Infection of 6 ATC cell lines by GLV-1h68 was detected in vitro at 12, 24, and 36 hours. Viral proliferation was measured through viral plaque assays. Cytotoxicity was measured daily at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 0.01, 0.1 and 1.

Results: Viral infection was detected in all cell lines by 24 hours and increased in intensity at 36 hours. Logarithmic viral replication was detected in all cell lines. At MOI 1, <13% cell survival was measured in 5 cell lines by day 7. At MOI 0.01, 3 cell lines showed <21% cell survival by day 7. Luciferase and beta-galactosidase activity at 24 hours correlated with cytotoxicity at MOI 0.01 on day 5.

Conclusion: A replication-competent vaccinia virus has significant infectious and oncolytic activity against a panel of human ATC. These results encourage future in vivo and clinical studies for this novel agent to treat this fatal cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / therapy*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Galactosides
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Indoles
  • Luciferases / genetics
  • Mutagenesis
  • Oncolytic Virotherapy / methods*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Vaccinia virus / genetics*
  • Vaccinia virus / growth & development
  • Virus Replication
  • beta-Galactosidase / genetics


  • Galactosides
  • Indoles
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Luciferases
  • beta-Galactosidase
  • 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl beta-galactoside