Novel therapies employing oncolytic viruses have emerged as promising anticancer modalities. The cure of particularly aggressive malignancies requires induction of immunogenic cell death (ICD), coupling oncolysis with immune responses via calreticulin, ATP, and high-mobility group box protein B1 (HMGB1) release from dying tumor cells. The present study shows that in human pancreatic cancer cells (pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma [PDAC] cells n=4), oncolytic parvovirus H-1 (H-1PV) activated multiple interconnected death pathways but failed to induce calreticulin exposure or ATP release. In contrast, H-1PV elevated extracellular HMGB1 levels by 4.0±0.5 times (58%±9% of total content; up to 100 ng/ml) in all infected cultures, whether nondying, necrotic, or apoptotic. An alternative secretory route allowed H-1PV to overcome the failure of gemcitabine to trigger HMGB1 release, without impeding cytotoxicity or other ICD activities of the standard PDAC medication. Such broad resistance of H-1PV-induced HMGB1 release to apoptotic blockage coincided with but was uncoupled from an autocrine interleukin-1? (IL-1?) loop. That and the pattern of viral determinants maintained in gemcitabine-treated cells suggested the activation of an inflammasome/caspase 1 (CASP1) platform alongside DNA detachment and/or nuclear exclusion of HMGB1 during early stages of the viral life cycle. We concluded that H-1PV infection of PDAC cells is signaled through secretion of the alarmin HMGB1 and, besides its own oncolytic effect, might convert drug-induced apoptosis into an ICD process. A transient arrest of cells in the cyclin A1-rich S phase would suffice to support compatibility of proliferation-dependent H-1PV with cytotoxic regimens. These properties warrant incorporation of the oncolytic virus H-1PV, which is not pathogenic in humans, into multimodal anticancer treatments.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancer related deaths worldwide. One of the main challenges in cancer treatment is drug delivery to target cancer cells specifically. Preclinical evaluation of intratumoral drugs in orthotopic liver cancer mouse models is difficult, as percutaneous injection hardly can be precisely performed manually. In the present study we have characterized a hepatoma model developing a single tumor nodule by implantation of Hep55.1C cells in the liver of syngeneic C57BL/6J mice. Tumor evolution was followed up by µCT imaging, and at the histological and molecular levels. This orthotopic, poorly differentiated mouse HCC model expressing fibrosis, inflammation and cancer markers was used to assess the efficacy of drugs. We took advantage of the high precision of a previously developed robotized system for automated, image-guided intratumoral needle insertion, to administer every week in the tumor of the Hep55.1C mouse model. A significant tumor growth inhibition was observed using our robotized system, whereas manual intraperitoneal administration had no effect, by comparison to untreated control mice.
The rat parvovirus H-1PV has oncolytic and tumour-suppressive properties potentially exploitable in cancer therapy. This possibility is being explored and results are encouraging, but it is necessary to improve the oncotoxicity of the virus. Here we show that this can be achieved by co-treating cancer cells with H-1PV and histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) such as valproic acid (VPA). We demonstrate that these agents act synergistically to kill a range of human cervical carcinoma and pancreatic carcinoma cell lines by inducing oxidative stress, DNA damage and apoptosis. Strikingly, in rat and mouse xenograft models, H-1PV/VPA co-treatment strongly inhibits tumour growth promoting complete tumour remission in all co-treated animals. At the molecular level, we found acetylation of the parvovirus nonstructural protein NS1 at residues K85 and K257 to modulate NS1-mediated transcription and cytotoxicity, both of which are enhanced by VPA treatment. These results warrant clinical evaluation of H-1PV/VPA co-treatment against cervical and pancreatic ductal carcinomas.
Oncolytic viruses with their capacity to specifically replicate in and kill tumor cells emerged as a novel class of cancer therapeutics. Rat oncolytic parvovirus (H-1PV) was used to treat different types of cancer in preclinical settings and was lately successfully combined with standard gemcitabine chemotherapy in treating pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) in rats. Our previous work showed that the immune system and particularly the release of interferon-gamma (IFN?) seem to mediate the anticancer effect of H-1PV in that model. Therefore, we reasoned that the therapeutic properties of H-1PV can be boosted with IFN? for the treatment of late incurable stages of PDAC like peritoneal carcinomatosis. Rats bearing established orthotopic pancreatic carcinomas with peritoneal metastases were treated with a single intratumoral (i.t.) or intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of 5 x 10? plaque forming units of H-1PV with or without concomitant IFN? application. Intratumoral injection proved to be more effective than the intraperitoneal route in controlling the growth of both the primary pancreatic tumors and peritoneal carcinomatosis, accompanied by migration of virus from primary to metastatic deposits. Concomitant i.p. treatment of H-1PV with recIFN? resulted in improved therapeutic effect yielding an extended animal survival, compared with i.p. treatment with H-1PV alone. IFN? application enhanced the H-1PV-induced peritoneal macrophage and splenocyte responses against tumor cells while causing a significant reduction in the titers of H1-PV-neutralising antibodies in ascitic fluid. Thus, IFN? co-application together with H-1PV might be considered as a novel therapeutic option to improve the survival of PDAC patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis.
Animal experimentation is a prerequisite for preclinical evaluation of treatments such as chemotherapy. Its strictly regulated with the purpose of reducing the number of experimental animal as well as their pain. Small animal imaging should provide a painless longitudinal follow up of tumor progression on a single animal. The aim of the study is to validate small animal imaging by microscanner (?scan) in longitudinal follow up of a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and to demonstrate its interest for in vivo evaluation of tumor response to different therapeutics. An HCC model achieved by orthotopic graft of the MH3924A cell line in ACI rats was followed using a Imtek/Siemens microscanner (?scan) with contrast agents (Fenestra(®) LC/VC). The procedures giving the optimal enhancement of the liver as well as a reliable determination of tumor volumes by ?scan were validated. Three protocols for therapeutic assessment through ?scan longitudinal follow up were performed. Each consisted in three groups testing a chemotherapy (gemcitabine, gemcitabine-oxaliplatine or sorafenib) versus two control groups (placebo and doxorubicine). Comparison was done on tumor volumes, median and actual survivals. There was a significant correlation between tumor volumes measured by ?scan and autopsy. Treatment by sorafenib, at the contrary of gemcitabine alone or with oxaliplatine, resulted in a significant reduction in tumor volumes and prolongation of actuarial survival. These results are consistent with available clinical data for these diverse therapeutics. In conclusion, small animal imaging with ?scan is a non-invasive, reliable, and reproducible method for preclinical evaluation of antitumor agents.
Myo-inositol trispyrophosphate (ITPP), a synthetic allosteric effector of hemoglobin, increases the regulated oxygen-releasing capacity of red blood cells (RBCs), leading to suppression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1? (HIF-1?) and to down-regulation of hypoxia-inducible genes such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). As a consequence, tumor growth is markedly affected. The effect of weekly intravenous injection of ITPP on an orthotopic, syngenic rat hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) model was compared to that for untreated animals and animals subjected to conventional Doxorubicin chemotherapy. The longitudinal examination of HCC was performed by microCT imaging, and the cellular and molecular changes were evaluated by histology and Western blotting analysis of HIF-1?, VEGF, and caspase-3 gene expression in the tumor and in the surrounding liver. Hematologic impact was evaluated by blood cell-count measurement and determination of P50 (oxygen partial pressure for a 50 % oxygen saturation of hemoglobin). The HCC evaluation by microCT revealed a high potency of ITPP for tumor growth inhibition, thus allowing long-term survival and even cure of almost all the treated animals. The P50 value of hemoglobin in RBCs underwent a shift of 30 % following ITPP injection. Under these conditions, HIF-1? activity was strongly decreased, VEGF expression was down-regulated, and apoptosis was induced in HCC and surrounding liver cells, as indicated by Caspase-3 expression. ITPP did not affect hematologic parameters during treatment. The observations of in vivo tumor eradication suggest a significant clinical potential for ITPP in cancer therapy.
Treatment of cancers by means of viruses, that specifically replicate in (oncotropism) and kill (oncolysis) neoplastic cells, is increasingly gaining acceptance in the clinic. Among these agents, parvoviruses have been shown to possess not only direct oncolytic but also immunomodulating properties, serving as an adjuvant to prime the immune system to react against infected tumors. Here, we aimed to establish whether immunomodulating mechanisms participate in the recently reported therapeutic potential of parvoviruses against pancreatic carcinoma. Using adoptive transfer experiments we discovered that the transfer of splenocytes of donor rats harboring H-1PV-treated orthotopic PDAC tumors could significantly prolong the survival of naïve tumor-bearing recipients, compared to those receiving cells from mock-treated donors. Closer investigation of immunological parameters in infected donor rats revealed that virus-induced interferon gamma production and cellular immune response played an important role in this effect. These data have also preclinical relevance since abortive H-1PV infection of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells or cocultivation of these cells with H-1PV-preinfected pancreatic cancer cells, resulted in enhancement of innate and adaptive immune reactivity. Taken together our data reveal that oncolytic H-1PV modulates the immune system into an anticancer state, and further support the concept of using parvoviruses in the fight against pancreatic cancer.
Surgical management of pancreatic cancer depends on tumor resectability and staging. This study evaluated a new in vivo technique, fiberoptic confocal fluorescence microscopy (FCFM), for detection and staging of pancreatic tumors in rats.
The incidence of lymphomas developing in both immunocompetent and immunosuppressed patients continues to steadily increase worldwide. Current chemotherapy and immunotherapy approaches have several limitations, such as severe side toxicity and selection of resistant cell variants. Autonomous parvoviruses (PVs), in particular the rat parvovirus H-1PV, have emerged as promising anticancer agents. Although it is apathogenic in humans, H-1PV has been shown to infect and suppress various rat and human tumors in animal models. In this study, we demonstrate the capacity of H-1PV for efficiently killing, through necrosis, cell cultures originating from Burkitts lymphoma (BL), while sparing normal B lymphocytes. The cytotoxic effect was generally accompanied by a productive H-1PV infection. Remarkably, parvovirus-based monotherapy efficiently suppressed established BL at an advanced stage in a severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mouse model of the disease. The data show for the first time that an oncolytic parvovirus deserves further consideration as a potential tool for the treatment of some non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphomas, including those resistant to apoptosis induction by rituximab.
Pancreatic carcinoma is a gastrointestinal malignancy with poor prognosis. Treatment with gemcitabine, the most potent chemotherapeutic against this cancer up to date, is not curative, and resistance may appear. Complementary treatment with an oncolytic virus, such as the rat parvovirus H-1PV, which is infectious but nonpathogenic in humans, emerges as an innovative option.
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