Although colorectal cancer is the leading cause of death in patients with liver metastases, there are no efficient treatments available. Oncolytic virus therapy, a new type of tumor therapy, has become a potential solution. With the goal of improving the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer, we applied oncolytic herpes simplex virus type 2 (oHSV2) in a mouse model of colorectal cancer with liver metastasis. Compared with the control, oHSV2 effectively inhibited the growth of subcutaneous primary tumors, significantly reduced the number and size of liver metastases, and prolonged the median survival time of the mice. In addition, neutrophils, natural killer (NK) cells, T cells, B cells, and cytokines in the tumor microenvironment and the body were all activated, and their frequencies increased significantly. Moreover, the proportion of immunosuppressive myeloid-derived suppressor cells decreased. oHSV2 treatment, which establishes an effective long-term antitumor immune response, is strongly resistant to rechallenge by the same tumor. Our data show that oHSV2 can effectively kill the primary tumor and attack distal and metastatic tumors by inducing immune responses, resulting in lasting antitumor efficacy and preventing tumor recurrence. It is believed that oHSV2 has good clinical application prospects.
Keywords: antitumor immunity; metastases; oncolytic virus; tumor microenvironment.