American Association for Cancer Research

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Supplementary Figure 5 from Combination Therapy Using Ruxolitinib and Oncolytic HSV Renders Resistant MPNSTs Susceptible to Virotherapy

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posted on 2023-04-03, 23:25 authored by Mohammed G. Ghonime, Kevin A. Cassady

Supplementary Figure 5: 67C-4 tumor cells express EphA2 and control peptide doesn't induce CD8 T cell activation


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Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) are aggressive soft-tissue sarcomas resistant to most cancer treatments. Surgical resection remains the primary treatment, but this is often incomplete, ultimately resulting in high mortality and morbidity rates. There has been a resurgence of interest in oncolytic virotherapy because of encouraging preclinical and clinical trial results. Oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV) selectively replicates in cancer cells, lysing the cell and inducing antitumor immunity. We previously showed that basal interferon (IFN) signaling increases interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) expression, restricting viral replication in almost 50% of MPNSTs. The FDA-approved drug ruxolitinib (RUX) temporarily resets this constitutively active STAT signaling and renders the tumor cells susceptible to oHSV infection in cell culture. In the studies described here, we translated our in vitro results into a syngeneic MPNST tumor model. Consistent with our previous results, murine MPNSTs exhibit a similar IFN- and ISG-mediated oHSV-resistance mechanism, and virotherapy alone provides no antitumor benefit in vivo. However, pretreatment of mice with ruxolitinib reduced ISG expression, making the tumors susceptible to oHSV infection. Ruxolitinib pretreatment improved viral replication and altered the oHSV-induced immune-mediated response. Our results showed that this combination therapy increased CD8+ T-cell activation in the tumor microenvironment and that this population was indispensable for the antitumor benefit that follows from the combination of RUX and oHSV. These data suggest that JAK inhibition prior to oncolytic virus treatment augments both oHSV replication and the immunotherapeutic efficacy of oncolytic herpes virotherapy.

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