Multifaceted oncolytic virus therapy for glioblastoma in an immunocompetent cancer stem cell model

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jul 16;110(29):12006-11. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1307935110. Epub 2013 Jun 10.


Glioblastoma (World Health Organization grade IV) is an aggressive adult brain tumor that is inevitably fatal despite surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Treatment failures are attributed to combinations of cellular heterogeneity, including a subpopulation of often-resistant cancer stem cells, aberrant vasculature, and noteworthy immune suppression. Current preclinical models and treatment strategies do not incorporate or address all these features satisfactorily. Herein, we describe a murine glioblastoma stem cell (GSC) model that recapitulates tumor heterogeneity, invasiveness, vascularity, and immunosuppressive microenvironment in syngeneic immunocompetent mice and should prove useful for a range of therapeutic studies. Using this model, we tested a genetically engineered oncolytic herpes simplex virus that is armed with an immunomodulatory cytokine, interleukin 12 (G47-mIL12). G47Δ-mIL12 infects and replicates similarly to its unarmed oncolytic herpes simplex virus counterpart in mouse 005 GSCs in vitro, whereas in vivo, it significantly enhances survival in syngeneic mice bearing intracerebral 005 tumors. Mechanistically, G47-mIL12 targets not only GSCs but also increases IFN-γ release, inhibits angiogenesis, and reduces the number of regulatory T cells in the tumor. The increased efficacy is dependent upon T cells, but not natural killer cells. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that G47Δ-mIL12 provides a multifaceted approach to targeting GSCs, tumor microenvironment, and the immune system, with resultant therapeutic benefit in a stringent glioblastoma model.

Keywords: antiangiogenesis; immunotherapy; virotherapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Glioblastoma / therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / virology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Interleukin-12 / metabolism*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells
  • Oncolytic Virotherapy / methods*
  • Simplexvirus / metabolism*


  • Interleukin-12