Telomerase-specific virotheranostics for human head and neck cancer

Yuji Kurihara, Yuichi Watanabe, Hideki Onimatsu, Toru Kojima, Tatsuo Shirota, Masashi Hatori, Dong Liu, Satoru Kyo, Hiroyuki Mizuguchi, Yasuo Urata, Satoru Shintani, Toshiyoshi Fujiwara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Long-term outcomes of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) remain unsatisfactory despite advances in combination of treatment modalities. SCCHN is characterized by locoregional spread and it is clinically accessible, making it an attractive target for intratumoral biological therapies. Experimental Design: OBP-301 isa type 5adenovirusthat contains the replication cassette in which the human telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter drives expression of the E1 genes. OBP-401 contained the replication cassette and the green fluorescent protein (GFP)gene. The antitumor effects of OBP-301 were evaluated in vitro by the sodium 30-[1-(phenylaminocar- bonyl)-3,4-tetrazolium]-bis(4-methoxy-6-nitro)benzene sulfonic acid hydrate assay and in vivo in an orthotopic xenograft model. Virus spread into the lymphatics was also orthotopically assessed by using OBP-401. Results: Intratumoral injection of OBP-301 resulted in the shrinkage of human SCCHN tumors orthotopically implanted into the tongues of BALB/c nu/nu mice and significantly recovered weight loss by enabling oral ingestion. The levels of GFP expression following ex vivo infection of OBP-401 may be of value as a positive predictive marker for the outcome of telomerase- specific virotherapy. Moreover, whole-body fluorescent imaging revealed that intratumorally injected OBP-401 could visualize the metastatic lymph nodes, indicating the ability of the virus to traffic to the regional lymphatic area and to selectively replicate in neoplastic lesions, resulting in GFP expression and cell death in metastatic lymph nodes. Conclusions: These results illustrate the potential of telomerase-specific oncolytic viruses for a novel therapeutic and diagnostic approach, termed theranostics, for human SCCHN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2335-2343
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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