In situ cancer vaccination: An IL-12 defective vector/replication- competent herpes simplex virus combination induces local and systemic antitumor activity

Masahiro Toda, Robert L. Martuza, Hidefumi Kojima, Samuel D. Rabkin

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Intratumoral inoculation of replication-competent, attenuated herpes simplex virus (HSV) mutants inhibits tumor growth by direct cytotoxic viral replication and induction of a tumor-specific immune response. To boost the antitumor response, we describe a defective HSV vector encoding IL-12 as an adjuvant to in situ vaccination by the replicaton-competent HSV helper virus. The defective HSV vector system consists of defective particles containing tandem repeats of the cytokine genes (p40 and p35) in combination with a HSV helper virus. Heterodimeric IL-12 was expressed and secreted after IL-12 defective vector infection of tumor cells. In a syngeneic, bilateral established tumor model with CT26 murine colon carcinoma, unilateral intratumoral inoculation with an IL-12 defective/replication-competent HSV vector combination significantly reduced tumor growth of the inoculated and noninoculated contralateral tumors. This antitumor effect was significantly greater than with a lacZ-defective/replication-competent HSV vector combination, which itself was significantly greater than the mock inoculation. Efficacy is associated with enhancement of tumor-specific CTL activity, including specificity against the CT26 immunodominant MHC class I restricted Ag AH1, and IFN-γ production. There was no significant tumor growth inhibition after lntratumoral inoculation of s.c. CT26 tumors in athymic mice. We conclude that this defective HSV vector system is an effective method for cytokine gene delivery to tumors in situ and IL-12 expression in tumors synergizes the antitumor activity mediated by the replication-competent HSV helper virus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4457-4464
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1998 May 1
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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