Using clinically approved cyclophosphamide regimens to control the humoral immune response to oncolytic viruses

Gene Ther. 2013 Mar;20(3):255-61. doi: 10.1038/gt.2012.31. Epub 2012 Apr 5.


Oncolytic viruses can be neutralized in the bloodstream by antiviral antibodies whose titers increase progressively with each exposure, resulting in faster virus inactivation and further reductions in efficacy with each successive dose. A single dose of cyclophosphamide (CPA) at 370 mg m(-2) was not sufficient to control the primary antiviral immune responses in mice, squirrel monkeys and humans. We therefore tested clinically approved multidose CPA regimens, which are known to kill proliferating lymphocytes, to determine if more intensive CPA therapy can more effectively suppress antiviral antibody responses during virotherapy. In virus-susceptible mice, primary antibody responses to intravenously (i.v.) administered oncolytic measles virus (MV) or vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) were partially or completely suppressed, respectively, by oral (1 mg × 8 days) or systemic (3 mg × 4 days) CPA regimens initiated 1 day before virus. When MV- or VSV-immune mice were re-challenged with the respective viruses and concurrently treated with four daily systemic doses of CPA, their anamnestic antibody responses were completely suppressed and antiviral antibody titers fell significantly below pre-booster levels. We conclude that the CPA regimen of four daily doses at 370 mg m(-2) should be evaluated clinically with i.v. virotherapy to control the antiviral antibody response and facilitate effective repeat dosing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Cricetinae
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Humoral / drug effects*
  • Immunity, Humoral / immunology
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Measles / immunology
  • Measles / virology
  • Measles virus / genetics
  • Measles virus / immunology
  • Measles virus / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Oncolytic Virotherapy / methods*
  • Oncolytic Viruses / genetics
  • Oncolytic Viruses / immunology
  • Oncolytic Viruses / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus / genetics
  • Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus / immunology
  • Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus / physiology


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclophosphamide