Research Papers:

Mesenchymal stem cell carriers enhance antitumor efficacy of oncolytic adenoviruses in an immunocompetent mouse model

Esther Rincón, Teresa Cejalvo, Deepak Kanojia, Arantzazu Alfranca, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez-Milla, Raul Andrés Gil Hoyos, Yu Han, Lingjiao Zhang, Ramón Alemany, Maciej S. Lesniak and Javier García-Castro _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:45415-45431. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17557

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Esther Rincón1,2, Teresa Cejalvo1, Deepak Kanojia2, Arantzazu Alfranca1, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez-Milla1, Raul Andrés Gil Hoyos3, Yu Han2, Lingjiao Zhang2, Ramón Alemany3, Maciej S. Lesniak2 and Javier García-Castro1

1Unidad de Biotecnología Celular, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain

2The Brain Tumor Center, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

3Institut Català d´Oncologia, IDIBELL, Barcelona, Spain

Correspondence to:

Javier García-Castro, email: [email protected]

Keywords: mesenchymal stem cells, carriers, oncolytic adenoviruses, immunotherapy, cancer

Received: July 28, 2016     Accepted: April 18, 2017     Published: May 02, 2017


Oncolytic virotherapy represents a promising alternative for cancer treatment; however, viral delivery to the tumor represents a major challenge. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) chemotax to tumors, and can serve as a viral delivery tool. Previously, we demonstrated antitumor therapeutic efficacy for mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) infected with the oncolytic human adenovirus ICOVIR5 (Celyvir) for treatment of neuroblastoma patients. Given the lack of suitable immunocompetent preclinical models, the mechanism underlying Celyvir antitumor activity remains unknown. In this study, we used the syngeneic murine CMT64 cell line as a human adenovirus-semi-permissive tumor model and demonstrate the homing capacity of mouse Celyvir (mCelyvir) to CMT64 tumors. We found that the combined treatment of mCelyvir and intratumoral injections (i.t.) of ICOVIR5 was more effective than treatment with i.t. ICOVIR5 alone. Interestingly, the superior therapeutic effect of the combined therapy was associated with a higher tumor infiltration of CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. Our findings suggest that the use of MSCs as carriers of oncolytic adenovirus can improve the clinical efficacy of anti-cancer virotherapy, not only by driving the adenovirus to tumors, but also through their potential to recruit T cells.

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