Oncolytic Adenovirus for the Targeting of Paclitaxel-Resistant Breast Cancer Stem Cells

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Viruses. 2024 Apr 5;16(4):567. doi: 10.3390/v16040567.

ABSTRACT

Adjuvant systemic therapies effectively reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence and metastasis, but therapy resistance can develop in some patients due to breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). Oncolytic adenovirus (OAd) represents a promising therapeutic approach as it can specifically target cancer cells. However, its potential to target BCSCs remains unclear. Here, we evaluated a Cox-2 promoter-controlled, Ad5/3 fiber-modified OAd designed to encode the human sodium iodide symporter (hNIS) in breast cancer models. To confirm the potential of OAds to target BCSCs, we employed BCSC-enriched estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) paclitaxel-resistant (TaxR) cells and tumorsphere assays. OAd-hNIS demonstrated significantly enhanced binding and superior oncolysis in breast cancer cells, including ER+ cells, while exhibiting no activity in normal mammary epithelial cells. We observed improved NIS expression as the result of adenovirus death protein deletion. OAd-hNIS demonstrated efficacy in targeting TaxR BCSCs, exhibiting superior killing and hNIS expression compared to the parental cells. Our vector was capable of inhibiting tumorsphere formation upon early infection and reversing paclitaxel resistance in TaxR cells. Importantly, OAd-hNIS also destroyed already formed tumorspheres seven days after their initiation. Overall, our findings highlight the promise of OAd-hNIS as a potential tool for studying and targeting ER+ breast cancer recurrence and metastasis.

PMID:38675909 | DOI:10.3390/v16040567