Oncolytic Maraba Virus MG1 as a Treatment for Sarcoma

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Abstract

The poor prognosis of patients with advanced bone and soft-tissue sarcoma has not changed in the past several decades, highlighting the necessity for new therapeutic approaches. Immunotherapies, including oncolytic viral (OV) therapy, have shown great promise in a number of clinical trials for a variety of tumor types. However, the effective application of OV in treating sarcoma still remains to be demonstrated. Although few pre-clinical studies using distinct OVs have been performed and demonstrated therapeutic benefit in sarcoma models, a side-by-side comparison of clinically relevant OV platforms has not been performed. Four clinically relevant OV platforms (Reovirus, Vaccinia virus, Herpes-simplex virus and Rhabdovirus) were screened for their ability to infect and kill human and canine sarcoma cell linesin vitro, and human sarcoma specimensex vivo.In vivotreatment efficacy was tested in a murine model. The rhabdovirus MG1 demonstrated the highest potencyin vitro.Ex vivo, MG1 productively infected more than 80% of human sarcoma tissues tested, and treatmentin vivoled to a significant increase in long-lasting cures in sarcoma-bearing mice. Importantly, MG1 treatment induced the generation of memory immune response that provided protection against a subsequent tumor challenge. This study opens the door for the use of MG1-based oncolytic immunotherapy strategies as treatment for sarcoma or as a component of a combined therapy.

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