Oncolytic measles virus efficacy in murine xenograft models of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors

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Abstract

Background

Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) is a rare, highly malignant pediatric tumor of the central nervous system that is usually refractory to available treatments. The aggressive growth, propensity to disseminate along the neuroaxis, and young age at diagnosis contribute to the poor prognosis. Previous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of using oncolytic measles virus (MV) against localized and disseminated models of medulloblastoma. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the oncolytic potential of MV in experimental models of AT/RT.

Methods

Following confirmation of susceptibility to MV infection and killing of AT/RT cells in vitro, nude mice were injected with BT-12 and BT-16 AT/RT cells stereotactically into the caudate nucleus (primary tumor model) or lateral ventricle (disseminated tumor model). Recombinant MV was administered either intratumorally or intravenously. Survival was determined for treated and control animals. Necropsy was performed on animals showing signs of progressive disease.

Results

All cell lines exhibited significant killing when infected with MV, all formed syncytia with infection, and all generated infectious virus after infection. Orthotopic xenografts displayed cells with rhabdoid-like cellular morphology, were negative for INI1 expression, and showed dissemination within the intracranial and spinal subarachnoid spaces. Intratumoral injection of live MV significantly prolonged the survival of animals with intracranial and metastatic tumors.

Conclusion

These data demonstrate that AT/RT is susceptible to MV killing and suggest that the virus may have a role in treating this tumor in the clinical setting.

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