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Oncolytic Adenoviruses Armed with Thymidine Kinase Can Be Traced by PET Imaging and Show Potent Antitumoural Effects by Ganciclovir Dosing
Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Author: Daniel Abate-Daga et al.

by Daniel Abate-Daga, Nuria Andreu, Juan Camacho-Sánchez, Ramon Alemany, Raúl Herance, Olga Millán, Cristina Fillat

Replication-competent adenoviruses armed with thymidine kinase (TK) combine the concepts of virotherapy and suicide gene therapy. Moreover TK-activity can be detected by noninvasive positron emission-computed tomography (PET) imaging, what could potentially facilitate virus monitoring in vivo. Here, we report the generation of a novel oncolytic adenovirus that incorporates the Tat8-TK gene under the control of the Major Late Promoter in a highly selective backbone thus providing selectivity by targeting the retinoblastoma pathway. The selective oncolytic TK virus, termed ICOVIR5-TK-L, showed reduced potency compared to a non-selective counterpart. However the combination of ICOVIR5-TK-L with ganciclovir (GCV) induced a potent antitumoural effect similar to that of wild type adenovirus in a preclinical model of pancreatic cancer. Although the treatment with GCV provoked a reduction in the viral yield, both in vitro and in vivo, a two-cycle treatment of virus and GCV resulted in an enhanced antitumoral response that correlated with high TK-activity, based on microPET measurements. Thus, TK-expressing oncolytic adenoviruses can be traced by PET imaging providing real time information on the activity of the virus and its antitumoral potency can be optimized by GCV dosing.