• Open Access

13-Cis retinoic acid can enhance the antitumor activity of non-replicating Sendai virus particle against neuroblastoma


To whom correspondence should be addressed.

E-mail: kaneday@gts.med.osaka-u.ac.jp


Hemagglutinating virus of Japan-envelope (HVJ-E) is a drug delivery vector based on inactivated Sendai virus. Recently, antitumor activities were found for HVJ-E itself and clinical trials of HVJ-E for some malignant tumors are now ongoing. We investigated the in vitro and in vivo antitumor effects of HVJ-E against neuroblastoma, which is one of the most common malignant solid tumors in childhood. The sensitivity of human neuroblastoma cell lines to HVJ-E correlated with the expression level of gangliosides, Sialylparagloboside (SPG) and GD1a, receptors for HVJ. Among the cell lines, SK-N-SH was the most sensitive to HVJ-E in vitro and total SPG and GD1a expression was the highest. Complete eradication of subcutaneous tumors derived from SK-N-SH cells was achieved by intratumoral injection of HVJ-E in SCID mice and no recurrence was observed for more than 300 days after HVJ-E inoculation. In contrast, NB1 cells expressed the lowest amount of GD1a and SPG and were resistant to HVJ-E in vitro. The expression of GD1a increased by 13-cis retinoic acid (13cRA), which is a therapeutic drug for high risk neuroblastoma, thus leading to an improved sensitivity to HVJ-E in vitro. Only growth inhibition of the subcutaneous tumors derived from NB1 cells was achieved by HVJ-E in the SCID mice, but the combination of 13cRA and HVJ-E could achieve partial eradication of the xenograft and also lead to an improved prognosis. In conclusion, HVJ-E is a promising therapeutic modality for neuroblastoma and 13cRA can be used as an adjuvant to HVJ-E.