Nonhuman Primate Adenoviruses of the Human Adenovirus B Species Are Potent and Broadly Acting Oncolytic Vector Candidates

Selas T.F. Bots, Vera Kemp, Steve J. Cramer, Diana J.M. Van Den Wollenberg, Marten Hornsveld, Martine L.M. Lamfers, Gabri Van Der Pluijm, Rob C. Hoeben*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


The use of human adenoviruses (hAds) as oncolytic agents has demonstrated considerable potential. However, their efficacy in clinical studies is generally moderate and often varies between patients. This may, in part, be attributable to variable pre-existing neutralizing immunity in patients, which can impact the antitumor efficacy and lead to response heterogeneity. Our aim was to isolate new Ads for the development of oncolytic vectors with low prevalence of neutralizing immunity in the human population. To this end, we isolated a collection of new nonhuman primate (nhp) Ads from stool samples of four great ape species held captive. We elected 12 isolates comprising the broadest genetic variability for further characterization. For three new nhpAds, all classified as the human adenovirus B (HAdV-B) species, no neutralizing activity could be detected when exposed to a preparation of immunoglobulins isolated from a pool of >1,000 donors as a surrogate of population immunity. In addition, the nhpAds of the HAdV-B species showed enhanced oncolytic potency compared to nhpAds of the HAdV-C species as well as to human adenovirus type 5 (HAdV-C5) in vitro when tested in a panel of 29 human cancer cell lines. Next-generation sequencing of the viral genomes revealed higher sequence similarity between hAds and nhpAds of HAdV-B compared to HAdV-C, which might underlie the differences in oncolytic ability. As a proof-of-concept, the Rb-binding domain of the E1A protein of the gorilla-derived HAdV-B nhpAd-lumc007 was deleted, thereby creating a new oncolytic derivative, which demonstrated increased oncolytic potential compared to HAdV-C5. Collectively, our data demonstrate that nhpAds of the HAdV-B species can serve as an alternative for the development of potent oncolytic Ad vectors with limited pre-existing neutralizing immunity in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-289
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded, in part, by the Foundation ‘‘Overleven met Alvleesklierkanker,’’ Utrecht, Netherlands (AOK_LUMC-2017-2).

Publisher Copyright:
© Selas T.F. Bots et al. 2022; Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2022.


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