Comparative Oncology Evaluation of Intravenous Recombinant Oncolytic Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Therapy in Spontaneous Canine Cancer

Mol Cancer Ther. 2018 Jan;17(1):316-326. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-17-0432. Epub 2017 Nov 20.


Clinical translation of intravenous therapies to treat disseminated or metastatic cancer is imperative. Comparative oncology, the evaluation of novel cancer therapies in animals with spontaneous cancer, can be utilized to inform and accelerate clinical translation. Preclinical murine studies demonstrate that single-shot systemic therapy with a vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-IFNβ-NIS, a novel recombinant oncolytic VSV, can induce curative remission in tumor-bearing mice. Clinical translation of VSV-IFNβ-NIS therapy is dependent on comprehensive assessment of clinical toxicities, virus shedding, pharmacokinetics, and efficacy in clinically relevant models. Dogs spontaneously develop cancer with comparable etiology, clinical progression, and response to therapy as human malignancies. A comparative oncology study was carried out to investigate feasibility and tolerability of intravenous oncolytic VSV-IFNβ-NIS therapy in pet dogs with spontaneous cancer. Nine dogs with various malignancies were treated with a single intravenous dose of VSV-IFNβ-NIS. Two dogs with high-grade peripheral T-cell lymphoma had rapid but transient remission of disseminated disease and transient hepatotoxicity that resolved spontaneously. There was no shedding of infectious virus. Correlative pharmacokinetic studies revealed elevated levels of VSV RNA in blood in dogs with measurable disease remission. This is the first evaluation of intravenous oncolytic virus therapy for spontaneous canine cancer, demonstrating that VSV-IFNβ-NIS is well-tolerated and safe in dogs with advanced or metastatic disease. This approach has informed clinical translation, including dose and target indication selection, leading to a clinical investigation of intravenous VSV-IFNβ-NIS therapy, and provided preliminary evidence of clinical efficacy and potential biomarkers that correlate with therapeutic response. Mol Cancer Ther; 17(1); 316-26. ©2017 AACR.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / therapy*
  • Dog Diseases / virology*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Neoplasms / veterinary*
  • Neoplasms / virology
  • Oncolytic Virotherapy / methods*
  • Pets
  • Vesiculovirus / physiology*