An evaluation of reovirus as an effective therapeutic for cancer

Thumbnail Image
Campion, Ciorsdan A.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University College Cork
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Cancer is a global problem. Despite the significant advances made in recent years, a definitively effective therapeutic has yet to be developed. Oncolytic virology has fallen back into favour for the treatment of cancer with several viruses and viral vectors currently under investigation including vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), adenovirus vectors and herpes simplex virus (HSV) vectors. Reovirus has an advantage over many viral vectors in that its wild-type form is non-pathogenic and will selectively infect transformed cells, particularly those mutated in the Ras pathway. These advantages make Reovirus an ideal candidate as a safe and non-toxic therapeutic. The aim of the first part of this study was to determine the effect, if any, of Reovirus on cell lines derived from cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. These cancers, particularly those of the oesophagus and stomach, have extremely poor prognoses and little improvement has been seen in survival of these patients in recent years. Reovirus as a single therapy showed promising results in cell lines of oesophageal, gastric and colorectal origin. Further study of partially resistant cell lines using a combination of Reovirus and conventional therapies, either chemotherapy or radiation, showed that a multi-modal approach to therapy is possible with Reovirus and no antagonism between Reovirus and other treatments was observed. The second part of this study focused on investigating a novel use of Reovirus in an in vivo setting. Cancer vaccination or the use of vaccines in cancer therapy is gaining momentum and success has been seen both in a prophylactic approach and a therapeutic approach. A cell-based Reovirus vaccine was used in both these approaches with encouraging success. When used as a prophylactic vaccine tumour development was subsequently inhibited even upon exposure to a tumorigenic dose of cells. The use of the cell-based Reovirus vaccine as a therapeutic for established tumours showed significant delay in tumour growth and a prolongation of survival in all models. This study has proven that Reovirus is an effective therapeutic in a range of cancers and the successful use of a cell-based Reovirus vaccine leads the way for new advancements in cancer immunotherapy.
Oncolytic virology , Reovirus
Campion, C. A. 2013. An evaluation of reovirus as an effective therapeutic for cancer. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.