Characterization of Morreton virus as an oncolytic virotherapy platform for liver cancers

Bolni Marius Nagalo, Yumei Zhou, Emilien J. Loeuillard, Chelsae Dumbauld, Oumar Barro, Natalie M. Elliott, Alexander T. Baker, Mansi Arora, James M. Bogenberger, Nathalie Meurice, Joachim Petit, Pedro Luiz Serrano Uson, Faaiq Aslam, Elizabeth Raupach, Musa Gabere, Alexei Basnakian, Camila C. Simoes, Martin J. Cannon, Steven R. Post, Kenneth BuetowJean Christopher Chamcheu, Michael T. Barrett, Dan G. Duda, Bertram Jacobs, Richard Vile, Michael A. Barry, Lewis R. Roberts, Sumera Ilyas, Mitesh J. Borad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Morreton virus (MORV) is an oncolytic Vesiculovirus, genetically distinct from vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). Aim: To report that MORV induced potent cytopathic effects (CPEs) in cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in vitro models. Approach and Results: In preliminary safety analyses, high intranasal doses (up to 1010 50% tissue culture infectious dose [TCID50]) of MORV were not associated with significant adverse effects in immune competent, non-tumor-bearing mice. MORV was shown to be efficacious in a Hep3B hepatocellular cancer xenograft model but not in a CCA xenograft HuCCT1 model. In an immune competent, syngeneic murine CCA model, single intratumoral treatments with MORV (1 × 107 TCID50) triggered a robust antitumor immune response leading to substantial tumor regression and disease control at a dose 10-fold lower than VSV (1 × 108 TCID50). MORV led to increased CD8+ cytotoxic T cells without compensatory increases in tumor-associated macrophages and granulocytic or monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that wild-type MORV is safe and can induce potent tumor regression via immune-mediated and immune-independent mechanisms in HCC and CCA animal models without dose limiting adverse events. These data warrant further development and clinical translation of MORV as an oncolytic virotherapy platform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1943-1957
Number of pages15
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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