Pilot trial of intravenous infusion of a replication-selective adenovirus (ONYX-015) in combination with chemotherapy or IL-2 treatment in refractory cancer patients

Academic Article


  • ONYX-015 is an adenovirus that selectively replicates in p53 dysfunctional or mutated malignant cells. We performed a pilot trial to determine the safety and feasibility of treatment with ONYX-015 delivered intravenously in patients with advanced malignancy. One cohort of five patients received ONYX-015 once a week for 6 weeks at a dose of 2 × 1012 particles per infusion in combination with weekly infusions of irinotecan (CPT11, 125 mg per week) and 5-fluorouracil (5FU, 500 mg per week). A second cohort of five patients received the combination of ONYX-015 at a dose of 2 × 1011 particles per week for 6 weeks in combination with interleukin 2 (IL 2, 1.1 × 106 units daily via subcutaneous injection for 5 days each week for 4 weeks). Toxicity attributable to ONYX-015 was limited to transient fever. All patients demonstrated elevations in neutralizing antibody titers within 4 weeks of the infusion of ONYX-015. Serum levels of IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interferon-γ increased within 6 hours of viral infusion, suggesting immune activation. This response was more pronounced in the cohort of patients who received 2 × 1012 particles per infusion. Two patients demonstrated uptake of viral particles in malignant tissue by quantitative PCR. Electron microscopy confirmed selective cytoplasmic viral particles within malignant cells but not within adjacent normal tissue in a third patient. In conclusion ONYX-015 can be administered safely in combination with CPT11, 5FU or low-dose IL 2 and is able to access malignant tissue following intravenous infusion. Further investigation of ONYX-015, possibly with agents that may modulate replication activity, or duration of virus survival, is indicated.
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    Author List

  • Nemunaitis J; Cunningham C; Tong AW; Post L; Netto G; Paulson AS; Rich D; Blackburn A; Sands B; Gibson B
  • Start Page

  • 341
  • End Page

  • 352
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 5