Precise scheduling of chemotherapy primes VEGF-producing tumors for successful systemic oncolytic virotherapy

Timothy Kottke, John Chester, Elizabeth Ilett, Jill Thompson, Rosa Diaz, Matt Coffey, Peter Selby, Gerard Nuovo, Jose Pulido, Debabrata Mukhopadhyay, Hardev Pandha, Kevin Harrington, Alan Melcher, Richard Vile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We have previously reported that a burst of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling to tumor-associated endothelium induces a proviral state, during which systemically delivered oncolytic reovirus can replicate in endothelium, thereby inducing immune-mediated vascular collapse and significant antitumor therapy. Using chimeric receptors, we show here that induction of the proviral state proceeds through VEGFR2, but not VEGFR1, signaling in endothelial cells. In contrast, innate immune activation by reovirus-exposed endothelial cells was predominantly through VEGFR1. By screening conventional chemotherapies for their ability to induce similar effects in combination with reovirus both in vitro and in vivo, we observed that the proviral state could also be induced in endothelial cells exposed to VEGF during rebound from paclitaxel-mediated inhibition of VEGF signaling. We translated these in vitro findings in vivo by careful scheduling of paclitaxel chemotherapy with systemic virotherapy, neither of which alone had therapeutic effects against B16 tumors. Systemic availability of reovirus during endothelial cell recovery from paclitaxel treatment allowed for endothelial replication of the virus, immune-mediated therapy, and tumor cures. Therefore, careful scheduling of combination viro-and chemotherapies, which preclinical testing suggests are individually ineffective against tumor cells, can lead to rational new clinical protocols for systemic treatments with oncolytic viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1802-1812
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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