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  • Koski, Anniina; Bramante, Simona; Kipar, Anja; Oksanen, Minna; Juhila, Juuso; Vassilev, Lotta; Joensuu, Timo; Kanerva, Anna; Hemminki, Akseli (2015)
    In clinical trials with oncolytic adenoviruses, there has been no mortality associated with treatment vectors. Likewise, in the Advanced Therapy Access Program (ATAP), where 290 patients were treated with 10 different viruses, no vector-related mortality was observed. However, as the patient population who received adenovirus treatments in ATAP represented heavily pretreated patients, often with very advanced disease, some patients died relatively soon after receiving their virus treatment mandating autopsy to investigate cause of death. Eleven such autopsies were performed and confirmed disease progression as the cause of death in each case. The regulatory requirement for investigating the safety of advanced therapy medical products presented a unique opportunity to study tissue samples collected as a routine part of the autopsies. Oncolytic adenoviral DNA was recovered in a wide range of tissues, including injected and noninjected tumors and various normal tissues, demonstrating the ability of the vector to disseminate through the vascular route. Furthermore, we recovered and cultured viable virus from samples of noninjected brain metastases of an intravenously treated patient, confirming that oncolytic adenovirus can reach tumors through the intravascular route. Data presented here give mechanistic insight into mode of action and biodistribution of oncolytic adenoviruses in cancer patients.
  • Cerullo, Vincenzo; Capasso, Cristian; Vähä-Koskela, Markus; Hemminki, Otto; Hemminki, Akseli (2018)
    Adenovirus is one of the most commonly used vectors for gene therapy and it is the first approved virus-derived drug for treatment of cancer. As an oncolytic agent, it can induce lysis of infected cells, but it can also engage the immune system, promoting activation and maturation of antigen-presenting cells (APCs). In essence, oncolysis combined with the associated immunostimulatory actions result in a "personalized in situ vaccine" for each patient. In order to take full advantage of these features, we should try to understand how adenovirus interacts with the immune system, what are the receptors involved in triggering subsequent signals and which kind of responses they elicit. Tackling these questions will give us further insight in how to manipulate adenovirus-mediated immune responses for enhancement of anti-tumor efficacy. In this review, we first highlight how oncolytic adenovirus interacts with the innate immune system and its receptors such as Toll-like receptors, nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors and other immune sensors. Then we describe the effect of these interactions on the adaptive immune system and its cells, especially B and T lymphocytes. Finally, we summarize the most significant preclinical and clinical results in the field of gene therapy where researchers have engineered adenovirus to manipulate the host immune system by expressing cytokines and signal-ingmediators.
  • Liikanen, Ilkka; Ahtiainen, Laura; Hirvinen, Mari L. M.; Bramante, Simona; Cerullo, Vincenzo; Nokisalmi, Petri; Hemminki, Otto; Diaconu, Iulia; Pesonen, Sari; Koski, Anniina; Kangasniemi, Lotta; Pesonen, Saila K.; Oksanen, Minna; Laasonen, Leena; Partanen, Kaarina; Joensuu, Timo; Zhao, Fang; Kanerva, Anna; Hemminki, Akseli (2013)
  • Nordberg, Janne; Mpindi, John Patrick; Iljin, Kristiina; Pulliainen, Arto Tapio; Kallajoki, Markku; Kallioniemi, Olli; Elenius, Klaus; Elenius, Varpu (2012)
  • Capasso, Cristian; Garofalo, Mariangela; Hirvinen, Mari; Cerullo, Vincenzo (2014)