Context Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Highly infectious Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strains are known to be very cytotoxic for an array of human tumor cell types in vitro and in vivo but the effects of these and avirulent NDV strains on pancreatic neoplasms are little known. Objective Here, the direct cytolytic effects of the avirulent Hitchner-B1 (B1) and Ulster (U) NDV strains on 7 human pancreatic tumor cell lines and 4 normal human cell lines were studied. Methods Cytotoxicity assays used serially diluted NDV to determine minimum cytotoxic plaque forming unit (PFU) doses. Results For NDV-B1, normal human cells were killed only by relatively high doses (range: 471-3,724 PFU) whereas NDV-U killed these cells at low PFU (range: 0.32-1.60 PFU). Most pancreatic cancer cell types were killed by much lower NDV-B1 doses (range: 0.40- 2.60 PFU) while NDV-U killed Capan-1 and SU.86.86 cultures at very low doses (0.00041 PFU and 0.0034 PFU, respectively). Conclusions On average, 1,555 times more NDV-B1 was needed to kill normal cells than most pancreatic tumor cells and 558 times more NDV-U to kill the two most sensitive pancreatic cancer lines. These innately-targeted lentogenic viruses may have meaningful potential in treating pancreatic cancer.
Robert J Walter, Bashar M Attar, Asad Rafiq, Sooraj Tejaswi, Megan Delimata