Cellular Virotherapy Increases Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL) and Decreases their PD-1+ Subsets in Mouse Immunocompetent Models

Cancers (Basel). 2020 Jul 16;12(7):1920. doi: 10.3390/cancers12071920.


Oncolytic virotherapy uses viruses designed to selectively replicate in cancer cells. An alternative to intratumoral administration is to use mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to transport the oncolytic viruses to the tumor site. Following this strategy, our group has already applied this treatment to children and adults in a human clinical trial and a veterinary trial, with good clinical responses and excellent safety profiles. However, the development of immunocompetent cancer mouse models is still necessary for the study and improvement of oncolytic viroimmunotherapies. Here we have studied the antitumor efficacy, immune response, and mechanism of action of a complete murine version of our cellular virotherapy in mouse models of renal adenocarcinoma and melanoma. We used mouse MSCs infected with the mouse oncolytic adenovirus dlE102 (OAd-MSCs). In both models, treatment with OAd-MSCs significantly reduced tumor volumes by 50% and induced a pro-inflammatory tumor microenvironment. Furthermore, treated mice harboring renal adenocarcinoma and melanoma tumors presented increased infiltration of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), natural killer cells, and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). Treated mice also presented lower percentage of TILs expressing programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1)-the major regulator of T cell exhaustion. In conclusion, treatment with OAd-MSCs significantly reduced tumor volume and induced changes in tumor-infiltrating populations of melanoma and renal cancer.

Keywords: Celyvir; MSCs; PD-1; T cells; TILs; adenovirus; immunotherapy; melanoma; oncolytic virus; renal cancer.