Bicalutamide-activated oncolytic adenovirus for the adjuvant therapy of high-risk prostate cancer

T. J. Johnson, N. Höti, C. Liu, W. H. Chowdhury, Y. Li, Y. Zhang, S. E. Lupold, T. Deweese, R. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Conditionally replicating adenoviruses (CRAds) utilize tissue-specific promoters to control the expression of the early genes, E1A and E1B, to preferentially replicate and lyse tumor cells (oncolysis). Previous CRAds used in prostate cancer (PCa) gene therapy require androgens to activate prostate-specific promoters and induce viral replication. Unfortunately, these CRAds have reduced activity in patients on androgen-suppressive therapy. We describe a novel prostate-specific CRAd generated by fusing the E1A gene to the androgen receptor (AR) cDNA with a point mutation in codon 685 (C685Y). The E1A-AR fusion neutralizes the previously described mutual inhibition of E1A and AR, and the C685Y point mutation alters specificity of steroid ligand binding to the AR, such that both androgens and nonsteroidal anti-androgens can activate viral replication. We demonstrate that the mutated E1A-AR retained the ability to function in regulating AR-responsive genes and E1A-responsive viral genes. In combination therapy of virus, bicalutamide (anti-androgen) and radiation, a profound impact on cell death by viral oncolysis was seen both in vitro and tumor xenografts. To our knowledge, this is the first gene therapy engineered to be enhanced by anti-androgens and a particularly attractive adjuvant strategy for intensity-modulated radiation therapy of high-risk PCas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-402
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Gene Therapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Adenovirus
  • Anti-androgen
  • CRAd
  • E1A-AR
  • Fiber-IRES-GFP
  • Radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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