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Loading of oncolytic vesicular stomatitis virus onto antigen-specific T cells enhances the efficacy of adoptive T-cell therapy of tumors

Abstract

Although adoptive T-cell therapy has shown clinical success, efficacy is limited by low levels of T-cell trafficking to, and survival in, the immunosuppressive environment of an established tumor. Oncolytic virotherapy has recently emerged as a promising approach to induce both direct tumor cell killing and local proinflammatory environments within tumors. However, inefficient systemic delivery of oncolytic viruses remains a barrier to use of these agents against metastatic disease that is not directly accessible to the end of a needle. Here we show that the ability of antigen-specific T cells to circulate freely, and to localize to tumors, can be exploited to achieve the systemic delivery of replication-competent, oncolytic vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). Thus, VSV loaded onto OT-I T cells, specific for the SIINFEKL epitope of the ovalbumin antigen, was efficiently delivered to established B16ova tumors in the lungs of fully immune-competent C57Bl/6 mice leading to significant increases in therapy compared to the use of virus, or T cells, alone. Although OT-I T-cell-mediated delivery of VSV led to viral replication within tumors and direct viral oncolysis, therapy was also dependent upon an intact host immune system. Moreover, VSV loading onto the T cells increased both T-cell activation in vitro and T-cell trafficking in vivo. The combination of adoptive T-cell transfer of antigen-specific T cells, along with oncolytic virotherapy, can, therefore, increase the therapeutic utility of both approaches through multiple mechanisms and should be of direct translational value.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Toni L Higgins for expert secretarial assistance. This work was supported by the Mayo Foundation and by NIH Grant CA RO1107082-02. JQ is supported by a grant from the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

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Correspondence to R G Vile.

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Qiao, J., Wang, H., Kottke, T. et al. Loading of oncolytic vesicular stomatitis virus onto antigen-specific T cells enhances the efficacy of adoptive T-cell therapy of tumors. Gene Ther 15, 604–616 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.gt.3303098

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