The conditionally replicating oncolytic adenovirus Delta24-RGD (Ad) is currently under investigation in clinical trials for glioblastoma, including in combination with temozolomide (TMZ), the standard chemotherapy for this tumor. Previously, we showed that the efficacy of Delta24-RGD in a murine model is primarily dependent on the virus-induced anti-tumor immune response. As observed with most chemotherapies, TMZ has pronounced immune-modulating effects. Here, we studied the combined effects of these treatments in a murine glioma model. In vitro, we observed a synergistic activity between Delta24-RGD and TMZ. In vivo, C57BL/6 mice bearing intracranial GL261 tumors were treated with TMZ for 5 days either prior to intratumoral Delta24-RGD injection (TMZ/Ad) or post virus injection (Ad/TMZ). Notably, the Ad/TMZ regimen led to similar tumoral CD8+ T cell influx as the virus-only treatment, but increased the ability of CD8+ T cells to specifically recognize the tumor cells. This was accompanied by improved survival. The TMZ/Ad regimen also improved survival significantly compared to controls, but not compared to virus alone. In this group, the influx of dendritic cells is impaired, followed by a significantly lower number of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells and no recognition of tumor cells. Depletion of either CD4+ T cells or CD8+ T cells impaired the efficacy of Delta24-RGD, underscoring the role of these cells in therapeutic activity of the virus. Overall, we show that the addition of TMZ to Delta24-RGD treatment leads to a significant increase in survival and that the order of sequence of these treatments affects the CD8+T cell anti-tumor activity.

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Keywords adenovirus, glioma, immune response, mouse model, oncolytic virotherapy, temozolomide
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Journal Molecular Therapy - Oncolytics
Kleijn, A, Van Den Bossche, W, Haefner, E.S. (Erik S.), Belcaid, Z, Burghoorn-Maas, C, Kloezeman, J.J, … Lamfers, M.L.M. (2017). The Sequence of Delta24-RGD and TMZ Administration in Malignant Glioma Affects the Role of CD8+T Cell Anti-tumor Activity. Molecular Therapy - Oncolytics, 5, 11–19. doi:10.1016/j.omto.2017.02.002