Telomerase-specific oncolytic virotherapy for human gastrointestinal cancer

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Replication-selective tumor-specific viruses present a novel approach for treatment of neoplastic disease. These vectors are designed to induce virus-mediated lysis of tumor cells after selective viral propagation within the tumor. Human telomerase is highly active in more than 85% of primary cancers, regardless of their tissue origins, and its activity correlates closely with human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) expression. We constructed an attenuated adenovirus 5 vector (OBP-301), in which the hTERT promoter element drives the expression of E1 genes. Since only tumor cells that express telomerase activity are able to activate this promoter, the hTERT proximal promoter allows for preferential expression of viral genes in tumor cells, leading to selective viral replication and oncolytic cell death. Lymphatic invasion is a major route for cancer cell dissemination, and adequate treatment of locoregional lymph nodes is required for curative treatment in patients with gastrointestinal tumors. In this article we show that intratumoral injection of OBP-301 mediates effective in vivo purging of metastatic tumor cells from regional lymph nodes, which may help optimize treatment of human gastrointestinal malignancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-532
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • adenovirus
  • colorectal cancer
  • lymph node
  • metastasis
  • telomerase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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