Adult T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma (ATL) is a highly aggressive CD4+ T-cell malignancy caused by human T-cell leukaemia virus type 1. Measles virus (MV) oncolytic therapy has been reported to be efficient in reducing tumour burden in subcutaneous xenograft models of lymphoproliferative disorders such as myeloma, B-cell lymphoma and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, but its potential to reduce tumour burden in disseminated lymphoproliferative disorders such as ATL remains to be determined. In this study, MV oncolytic therapy was evaluated in the MET-1/NOD/SCID xenograft mouse model of ATL. Treatment with the vaccine-related strain MV-NSE led to a significant reduction in tumour burden. In mice with a high tumour burden, therapy with MV-NSE significantly increased survival beyond any other single treatment tested previously using this model. Interestingly, signs of morbidity (cachexia) in mice treated with MV were not directly associated with tumour burden, but were correlated with the secretion of interleukin-6 by MET-1 cells and host cells. The results suggest that MV therapy could be a promising therapy for generalized lymphoproliferative disease.
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