The rising incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in western countries, along with the poor prognosis offered by present-day treatment modalities, makes novel therapies for this disease necessary. Oncolytic herpes simplex viruses (HSV) are replication-competent viruses that are highly effective in the treatment of a wide variety of experimental models of human malignancies. This study seeks to investigate the effectiveness of oncolytic herpes viruses in the treatment of primary HCC cell lines. Sixteen commercially available human HCC cell lines were studied. G207 is an attenuated, replication-competent, oncolytic HSV engineered to selectively replicate within cancer cells. Cell lines were tested for viral sensitivity to G207 and their ability to support viral replication using standard cytotoxicity and viral replication assays. Eleven of 16 cell lines were moderately to highly sensitive to G207 viral oncolysis. HCC cell lines additionally demonstrated the ability to support viral replication in vitro with as high as 800-fold amplification of the administered viral dose observed. G207 is cytotoxic to, and efficiently replicates within, HCC cell lines in vitro. From these data, we suggest that oncolytic HSV therapy may have a role in the treatment of HCC, and in vivo studies are warranted.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by grants R01CA75461 and R01CA72632 from the National Institutes of Health, and by grant MBC-99366 from the American Cancer Society (Yuman Fong).
- gene therapy
- hepatocellular carcinoma
- herpes simplex virus
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