Research ArticleCancer

MEK inhibition enhances oncolytic virus immunotherapy through increased tumor cell killing and T cell activation

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Science Translational Medicine  12 Dec 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 471, eaau0417
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau0417

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  • RE: MEK inhibition enhances oncolytic virus immunotherapy through increased tumor cell killing and T cell activation
    • Dianne Sika-Paotonu, Associate Dean (Pacific)/Senior Lecturer Pathology & Molecular Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand

    To the Editor,

    I read with keen interest the research article prepared by Bommareddy P. K., et al. (1) and entitled: “MEK inhibition enhances oncolytic virus immunotherapy through increased tumour killing and T cell activation.”

    Oncolytic viruses are a category of cancer drug utilising either native or genetically modified viruses capable of selective replication within cancer cells. Their action is via direct killing, induced release of soluble antigen, type 1 IFN’s, danger signals or the induction of host antitumor immunity.

    Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) is a herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) oncolytic virus encoding granulocytic-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) approved for treatment of advanced melanoma that has reoccurred post initial surgical intervention. T-VEC used alone for therapeutic purposes induces limited responses while BRAF/MEK inhibition is associated with drug resistance issues.

    Trametinib is a MEK inhibitor approved for use in melanoma patients. Previous work has shown that the combination of T-VEC with immune checkpoint inhibitors improved response rates. This work sought to explore the combination of (a) T-VEC and (b) MEK inhibition to support improved oncolytic virus responses in murine and melanoma cell lines.

    MEK inhibition acts directly on mutated tumour cells and promotes the release of tumour derived soluble antigens, while immunotherapy acts upon the immune cells to promote host antitumor immuni...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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