Expanded spectrum of viral therapy in the treatment of nervous system tumors

Academic Article


  • Despite aggressive therapy, many nervous system neoplasms, including malignant gliomas, medulloblastomas, malignant meningiomas, and neurofibrosarcomas, maintain high mortality rates. The authors recently utilized a thymidine kinase-negative herpes simplex-1 mutant virus, dlsptk, with reduced neurovirulence, for the effective treatment of malignant human gliomas in cell culture and in nude mouse in vivo models. The range of human nervous system tumors that might be responsive to viral therapy is now expanded. Three medulloblastoma, four malignant or atypical meningioma, and five neurofibrosarcoma cell lines or early-passage tumors were treated with the dlsptk virus in cell culture. A cell death rate of at least 99% was evident in every tumor tested for at least one multiplicity of infection within 14 days after treatment. Control tumor cell cultures remained viable. To test dlsptk therapy in vivo, the authors treated human medulloblastoma subcutaneous xenografts with two doses of dlsptk. Mean growth ratios were significantly inhibited in the treated group when compared to control tumors, and there was a significant number of tumor regressions in the treated animals. Similar results were seen with human malignant meningioma xenografts in a subrenal capsule study. These results encourage the further investigation of viral therapy in the treatment of a broad spectrum of nervous system tumors refractory to conventional treatment methods.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Markert JM; Coen DM; Malick A; Mineta T; Martuza RL
  • Start Page

  • 590
  • End Page

  • 594
  • Volume

  • 77
  • Issue

  • 4