Blood Journal
Leading the way in experimental and clinical research in hematology

Image-guided radiovirotherapy for multiple myeloma using a recombinant measles virus expressing the thyroidal sodium iodide symporter

  1. David Dingli,
  2. Kah-Whye Peng,
  3. Mary E. Harvey,
  4. Philip R. Greipp,
  5. Michael K. O'Connor,
  6. Roberto Cattaneo,
  7. John C. Morris, and
  8. Stephen J. Russell
  1. From the Molecular Medicine Program, the Division of Hematology and Internal Medicine, the Department of Radiology, and the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, MN.


The Edmonston vaccine strain of measles virus (MV-Edm) propagates efficiently in a broad range of human tumor cells, killing them selectively. However, the oncolytic potency of MV-Edm in different human tumor xenograft therapy models is highly variable and there is no convenient way to map the distribution of virus-infected tissues in vivo. To enhance the oncolytic potency of MV-Edm against radiosensitive malignancies and to facilitate noninvasive imaging of infected tissues, we generated a recombinant MV-Edm encoding the human thyroidal iodide symporter (NIS). MV-NIS replicated almost as efficiently as unmodified MV-Edm, and human tumor cells efficiently concentrated radioiodine when infected with MV-NIS. Intratumoral spread of MV-NIS was noninvasively demonstrated by serial gamma-camera imaging of iodine-123 (123I) uptake both in MV-sensitive KAS-6/1 myeloma xenografts, which regressed completely after a single intravenous dose of MV-NIS, and in MM1 myeloma xenografts, which were unresponsive to MVNIS therapy. However, MV-resistant MM1 tumors regressed completely when 131I was administered 9 days after a single intravenous injection of MV-NIS (radiovirotherapy). 131I alone had no effect on MM1 tumor growth. While the potential hematopoietic toxicity of this new therapy requires further evaluation, image-guided radiovirotherapy is a promising new approach to the treatment of multiple myeloma, an incurable but highly radiosensitive plasma cell malignancy. Testing in other radiosensitive cancers is warranted.

  • Submitted July 3, 2003.
  • Accepted September 17, 2003.
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