Transforming the prostatic tumor microenvironment with oncolytic virotherapy
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Prostate cancer (PCa) was estimated to have the second highest global incidence rate for male non-skin tumors and is the fifth most deadly in men thus mandating the need for novel treatment options. MG1-Maraba is a potent and versatile oncolytic virus capable of lethally infecting a variety of prostatic tumor cell lines alongside primary PCa biopsies and exerts direct oncolytic effects against large TRAMP-C2 tumors in vivo. An oncolytic immunotherapeutic strategy utilizing a priming vaccine and intravenously administered MG1-Maraba both expressing the human six-transmembrane antigen of the prostate (STEAP) protein generated specific CD8+ T-cell responses against multiple STEAP epitopes and resulted in functional breach of tolerance. Treatment of mice with bulky TRAMP-C2 tumors using oncolytic STEAP immunotherapy induced an overt delay in tumor progression, marked intratumoral lymphocytic infiltration with an active transcriptional profile and up-regulation of MHC class I. The preclinical data generated here offers clear rationale for clinically evaluating this approach for men with advanced PCa.