Newly Characterized Murine Undifferentiated Sarcoma Models Sensitive to Virotherapy with Oncolytic HSV-1 M002

Eric Kohl Ring, Rong Li, Blake P. Moore, Li Nan, Virginia M. Kelly, Xiaosi Han, Elizabeth A. Beierle, James M. Markert, Jianmei W. Leavenworth, G. Yancey Gillespie, Gregory K. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Despite advances in conventional chemotherapy, surgical techniques, and radiation, outcomes for patients with relapsed, refractory, or metastatic soft tissue sarcomas are dismal. Survivors often suffer from lasting morbidity from current treatments. New targeted therapies with less toxicity, such as those that harness the immune system, and immunocompetent murine sarcoma models to test these therapies are greatly needed. We characterized two new serendipitous murine models of undifferentiated sarcoma (SARC-28 and SARC-45) and tested their sensitivity to virotherapy with oncolytic herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). Both models expressed high levels of the primary HSV entry molecule nectin-1 (CD111) and were susceptible to killing by interleukin-12 (IL-12) producing HSV-1 M002 in vitro and in vivo. M002 resulted in a significant intratumoral increase in effector CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and activated monocytes, and a decrease in myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in immunocompetent mice. Compared to parent virus R3659 (no IL-12 production), M002 resulted in higher CD8:MDSC and CD8:T regulatory cell (Treg) ratios, suggesting that M002 creates a more favorable immune tumor microenvironment. These data provide support for clinical trials targeting sarcomas with oncolytic HSV-1. These models provide an exciting opportunity to explore combination therapies for soft tissue sarcomas that rely on an intact immune system to reach full therapeutic potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Therapy - Oncolytics
StatePublished - Dec 15 2017


  • HSV
  • M002
  • herpes simplex virus
  • immunotherapy
  • murine sarcoma
  • oncolytic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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