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Open Access Research article

Treatment of medulloblastoma with oncolytic measles viruses expressing the angiogenesis inhibitors endostatin and angiostatin

Brian Hutzen1, Hemant Kumar Bid1, Peter J Houghton1, Christopher R Pierson2, Kimerly Powell3, Anna Bratasz3, Corey Raffel4 and Adam W Studebaker1*

Author Affiliations

1 The Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio 43205, USA

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

3 Ohio State University Small Animal Imaging Shared Resource for the Comprehensive Cancer Center and Davis Heart and Lung Institute, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

4 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA

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BMC Cancer 2014, 14:206  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-206

Published: 19 March 2014

Abstract

Background

Medulloblastoma is the most common type of pediatric brain tumor. Although numerous factors influence patient survival rates, more than 30% of all cases will ultimately be refractory to conventional therapies. Current standards of care are also associated with significant morbidities, giving impetus for the development of new treatments. We have previously shown that oncolytic measles virotherapy is effective against medulloblastoma, leading to significant prolongation of survival and even cures in mouse xenograft models of localized and metastatic disease. Because medulloblastomas are known to be highly vascularized tumors, we reasoned that the addition of angiogenesis inhibitors could further enhance the efficacy of oncolytic measles virotherapy. Toward this end, we have engineered an oncolytic measles virus that express a fusion protein of endostatin and angiostatin, two endogenous and potent inhibitors of angiogenesis.

Methods

Oncolytic measles viruses encoding human and mouse variants of a secretable endostatin/angiostatin fusion protein were designed and rescued according to established protocols. These viruses, known as MV-hE:A and MV-mE:A respectively, were then evaluated for their anti-angiogenic potential and efficacy against medulloblastoma cell lines and orthotopic mouse models of localized disease.

Results

Medulloblastoma cells infected by MV-E:A readily secrete endostatin and angiostatin prior to lysis. The inclusion of the endostatin/angiostatin gene did not negatively impact the measles virus’ cytotoxicity against medulloblastoma cells or alter its growth kinetics. Conditioned media obtained from these infected cells was capable of inhibiting multiple angiogenic factors in vitro, significantly reducing endothelial cell tube formation, viability and migration compared to conditioned media derived from cells infected by a control measles virus. Mice that were given a single intratumoral injection of MV-E:A likewise showed reduced numbers of tumor-associated blood vessels and a trend for increased survival compared to mice treated with the control virus.

Conclusions

These data suggest that oncolytic measles viruses encoding anti-angiogenic proteins may have therapeutic benefit against medulloblastoma and support ongoing efforts to target angiogenesis in medulloblastoma.

Keywords:
Oncolytic measles virus; Angiogenesis; Endostatin; Angiostatin; Medulloblastoma