Oncolytic viral purging of leukemic hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells with Myxoma virus

Masmudur M. Rahman, Gerard J. Madlambayan, Christopher R. Cogle, Grant McFadden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


High-dose chemotherapy and radiation followed by autologous blood and marrow transplantation (ABMT) has been used for the treatment of certain cancers that are refractory to standard therapeutic regimes. However, a major challenge with ABMT for patients with hematologic malignancies is disease relapse, mainly due to either contamination with cancerous hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) within the autograft or the persistence of residual therapy-resistant disease niches within the patient. Oncolytic viruses represent a promising therapeutic approach to prevent cancer relapse by eliminating tumor-initiating cells that contaminate the autograft. Here we summarize an ex vivo " purging" strategy with oncolytic Myxoma virus (MYXV) to remove cancer-initiating cells from patient autografts prior to transplantation. MYXV, a novel oncolytic poxvirus with potent anti-cancer properties in a variety of in vivo tumor models, can specifically eliminate cancerous stem and progenitor cells from samples obtained from acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) patients, while sparing normal CD34+ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells capable of rescuing hematopoiesis following high dose conditioning. We propose that a broader subset of patients with intractable hematologic malignancies who have failed standard therapy could become eligible for ABMT when the treatment schema is coupled with ex vivo oncolytic therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalCytokine and Growth Factor Reviews
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • ABMT
  • Acute myelogenous leukemia
  • Ex vivo purging
  • Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells
  • Myxoma virus
  • Oncolytic virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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