Virotherapy on the basis of oncolytic vaccinia virus (VACV) strains is one novel approach for canine cancer therapy. In this study we described for the first time the characterization and the use of new VACV strain LIVP6.1.1 as an oncolytic agent against canine cancer in a panel of four canine cancer cell lines including: soft tissue sarcoma (STSA-1), melanoma (CHAS), osteosarcoma (D-17) and prostate carcinoma (DT08/40). Cell culture data demonstrated that LIVP6.1.1 efficiently infected and destroyed all four tested canine cancer cell lines. In two different xenograft models on the basis of the canine soft tissue sarcoma STSA-1 and the prostate carcinoma DT08/40 cell lines, a systemic administration of the LIVP6.1.1 virus was found to be safe and led to anti-tumor and immunological effects resulting in the significant reduction of tumor growth in comparison to untreated control mice. In summary, the pre-clinical evaluation has demonstrated the efficacy of LIVP6.1.1 for canine cancer therapy. Furthermore, a clinical trial with canine cancer patients has already been started.
Keywords: cancer; canine cancer therapy; canine xenografts; oncolysis; oncolytic virus.