Open Access Research article

Treatment of medulloblastoma using an oncolytic measles virus encoding the thyroidal sodium iodide symporter shows enhanced efficacy with radioiodine

Brian Hutzen1*, Christopher R Pierson2, Stephen J Russell3, Evanthia Galanis4, Corey Raffel5 and Adam W Studebaker6

Author affiliations

1 Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Program, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 43205, USA

2 Department of Pathology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA

3 Department of Molecular Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA

4 Division of Medical Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA

5 Department of Neurological Surgery, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA

6 The Center for Childhood Cancer, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, 43205, USA

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Citation and License

BMC Cancer 2012, 12:508  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-508

Published: 7 November 2012



Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood. Although the clinical outcome for medulloblastoma patients has improved significantly, children afflicted with the disease frequently suffer from debilitating side effects related to the aggressive nature of currently available therapy. Alternative means for treating medulloblastoma are desperately needed. We have previously shown that oncolytic measles virus (MV) can selectively target and destroy medulloblastoma tumor cells in localized and disseminated models of the disease. MV-NIS, an oncolytic measles virus that encodes the human thyroidal sodium iodide symporter (NIS), has the potential to deliver targeted radiotherapy to the tumor site and promote a localized bystander effect above and beyond that achieved by MV alone.


We evaluated the efficacy of MV-NIS against medulloblastoma cells in vitro and examined their ability to incorporate radioiodine at various timepoints, finding peak uptake at 48 hours post infection. The effects of MV-NIS were also evaluated in mouse xenograft models of localized and disseminated medulloblastoma. Athymic nude mice were injected with D283med-Luc medulloblastoma cells in the caudate putamen (localized disease) or right lateral ventricle (disseminated disease) and subsequently treated with MV-NIS. Subsets of these mice were given a dose of 131I at 24, 48 or 72 hours later.


MV-NIS treatment, both by itself and in combination with 131I, elicited tumor stabilization and regression in the treated mice and significantly extended their survival times. Mice given 131I were found to concentrate radioiodine at the site of their tumor implantations. In addition, mice with localized tumors that were given 131I either 24 or 48 hours after MV-NIS treatment exhibited a significant survival advantage over mice given MV-NIS alone.


These data suggest MV-NIS plus radioiodine may be a potentially useful therapy for the treatment of medulloblastoma.

Medulloblastoma; Measles virus; Sodium iodide symporter; Targeted radiotherapy