Osteosarcomas are the most common malignant bone tumors. Although the multi-agent chemotherapy has improved the long-term survival rate of osteosarcoma patients, some patients show a poor response to chemotherapy, leading to recurrence and poor prognosis. Therefore, the enhancement of chemosensitivity is required to cure patients with osteosarcomas. We recently developed a telomerase-specific replication-competent oncolytic adenovirus, Telomelysin (OBP-301), and confirmed the antitumor effect of OBP-301 in human osteosarcoma cells. A phase I clinical trial in US has also shown the safety of OBP-301 in cancer patients. In this study, we investigated whether OBP-301 enhances the antitumor effect of chemotherapeutic agents, doxorubicin and cisplatin, that are used for the treatment of osteosarcomas, and the molecular mechanism of chemotherapy- and OBP-301-mediated cell death pathway, autophagy and apoptosis, in human osteosarcoma cell lines. We used four human osteosarcoma cell lines, HOS, MNNG/HOS, 143B and SaOS2. OBP-301 is an attenuated adenovirus, in which the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) promoter element drives expression of E1A and E1B genes, and causes tumor-selective lysis in a variety of human malignant tumor cells with high telomerase activity. OBP-301 infection enhanced the cytotoxic effect of chemotherapeutic agents and the calculation of combination index revealed the synergistic effects in all human osteosarcoma cell lines. To analyze the molecular mechanism in the synergistic effect induced by combination therapy, western blot analysis for apoptosis (PARP) and autophagy (LC3, p62) was performed. Combination of OBP-301 increased both apoptosis (the cleavage of PARP) and autophagy (conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II and p62 downregulation) in the chemotherapeutic agents-treated human osteosarcoma cells. In contrast, the replication of OBP-301 was not suppressed by chemotherapeutic agents. Moreover, combination therapy of chemotherapeutic agents with OBP-301 significantly suppressed tumor growth in a subcutaneous xenograft tumor model compared to monotherapy with chemotherapeutic agents or OBP-301. These results suggest that combination therapy of chemotherapeutic agents with OBP-301 provides a novel therapeutic strategy for human osteosarcomas.

Citation Format: Shuhei Osaki, Tsuyoshi Sasaki, Hiroshi Tazawa, Joe Hasei, Yasuaki Yamakawa, Yuuri Hashimoto, Toshiyuki Kunisada, Yasuo Urata, Toshifumi Ozaki, Toshiyoshi Fujiwara. Enhanced chemosensitivity of osteosarcoma cells by telomerase-specific oncolytic adenovirus in combination therapy. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 104th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2013 Apr 6-10; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2013;73(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 584. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-584