Glioblastoma (GBM) is among the most aggressive human cancers. Although oncolytic virus (OV) therapy has been proposed as a potential approach to treat GBM, it frequently fails because GBM cells are usually nonpermissive to OV. Here, we describe a dual-step drug screen for identifying chemical enhancers of OV in GBM. From a high-throughput screen of 1416 FDA-approved drugs, an inhibitor of CDK4/6 was identified as the top enhancer, selectively increasing potency of two OV strains, VSVΔ51 and Zika virus. Mechanistically, CDK4/6 inhibition promoted autophagic degradation of MAVS, resulting in impaired antiviral responses and enhanced tumor-selective replication of VSVΔ51 in vitro and in vivo. CDK4/6 inhibition cooperated with VSVΔ51 to induce severe DNA damage stress and amplify oncolysis. In GBM xenograft models, combined treatment with CDK4/6 inhibitor and VSVΔ51 significantly inhibited tumor growth and prolonged the survival of tumor-bearing mice. Further investigation revealed that CDK4/6 inhibitor and VSVΔ51 synergistically induced immunogenic cell death and boosted antitumor immunity. Together, this study features a promising approach of treating aggressive GBM through the combination of CDK4/6 inhibitor with OV.


This study proposes inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinases as a clinically translatable combinatorial strategy to enhance the efficacy of oncolytic virotherapy in GBM.

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