Oncolytic vesicular stomatitis virus and bortezomib are antagonistic against myeloma cells in vitro but have additive anti-myeloma activity in vivo

Exp Hematol. 2013 Dec;41(12):1038-49. doi: 10.1016/j.exphem.2013.09.005. Epub 2013 Sep 22.


Multiple myeloma cells are highly sensitive to the oncolytic effects of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), which specifically targets and kills cancer cells. Myeloma cells are also exquisitely sensitive to the cytotoxic effects of the clinically approved proteasome inhibitor bortezomib. Therefore, we sought to determine whether the combination of VSV and bortezomib would enhance tumor cell killing. However, as shown here, combining these two agents in vitro results in antagonism. We show that bortezomib inhibits VSV replication and spread. We found that bortezomib inhibits VSV-induced NF-κB activation and, using the NF-κB-specific inhibitor BMS-345541, that VSV requires NF-κB activity to spread efficiently in myeloma cells. In contrast to other cancer cell lines, viral titer is not recovered by BMS-345541 when myeloma cells are pretreated with interferon β. Thus, inhibiting NF-κB activity, either with bortezomib or BMS-345541, results in reduced VSV titers in myeloma cells in vitro. However, when VSV and bortezomib are combined in vivo in two syngeneic, immunocompetent myeloma models, the combination reduces tumor burden to a greater degree than VSV does as a single agent. Intratumoral VSV viral load is unchanged when mice are treated concomitantly with bortezomib compared to VSV treatment alone. To our knowledge, this report is the first to analyze the combination of VSV and bortezomib in vivo. Although antagonism between VSV and bortezomib is seen in vitro, analyzing these cells in the context of their host environment shows that bortezomib enhances VSV response, suggesting that this combination will also enhance response in myeloma patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Boronic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Bortezomib
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cricetinae
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Multiple Myeloma / therapy*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oncolytic Virotherapy*
  • Pyrazines / therapeutic use*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Vesicular Stomatitis / virology
  • Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus / drug effects
  • Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus / physiology*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Boronic Acids
  • NF-kappa B
  • Pyrazines
  • Bortezomib