Abstract

Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a disseminated plasma cell malignancy with approximately 14,600 new cases diagnosed in the USA annually. Despite recent progress in current therapeutical options the median survival is 3 to 5 years and cure is extremely rare. Therefore the evaluation of new treatment modalities for MM is highly warranted. An attractive approach to treat Myeloma with a minimum of undesired side effects is the use of a tumour antigen specific for MM cells. Wue-1, a monoclonal antibody binds very selectively normal and malignant plasma cells (50 of 51 MM samples, 14 of 15 immunocytoma and 13 of 13 MALT type lymphomas with plasma cell differentiation were Wue-1 positive, normal tissue including hematopoietic cells were negative) and offers the possibility to define MM cells as targets. The tool for selective killing of MM cells recognized by Wue-1 monoclonal antibody is in this study the measles virus vaccine strain Edmonston B in an ablated variant (MV-Wue) which no longer binds the usual measles receptors CD46 and CD150 (SLAM) expressed on almost every human cell type displaying a single-chain antibody (scFv) derived from the monoclonal Wue-1-antibody which has been tethered to the C-terminus of the H protein to restrict and retarget its interaction to malignant plasma cells especially MM cells. In addition, MV-Wue encodes EGFP facilitating the read out of infected cells. To determine if the fully retargeted MV-Wue would be able to infect MM cell lines and primary MM cells selectively an array of infection assays were performed using the MM cell lines U266 as well as primary CD138 positive MM cells expressing the Wue-1 antigen as expected targets and CD138 negative cells and normal B cells as controls negative for Wue-1. In these experiments selective infections of the MM cell line and primary MM cells were observed whereas the control cells were not infected with MV-Wue. In all cell types GFP expression indicating replicative infection correlated with the expression of the Wue-1 antigen determined by FACS. Infection experiments performed in the presence of monoclonal Wue-1 antibody showed a decreased GFP expression of about 78% in CD138 positive MM cells demonstrating specificity of the infection by MV-Wue. These results indicate that the engineered virus can be a safe and potential curative oncolytic agent to face the main problem in Multiple Myeloma which is responsible for frequent relapses, the minimal residual disease (MRD).

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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