Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer around the world. Since this cancer is highly resistant to the existing treatments, we used a novel method, which selectively targets HCC cancer cells to improve the treatment process. As normal cells are resistant to reovirus replication, we used oncolytic reoviruses, which can infect, replicate in, and destroy cancer cells. In this study, the effects of oncolytic human reoviruses on cancer cells, derived from HCC biopsies, were investigated.
Methods: First, reoviruses were purified. Then a plaque assay was performed to estimate the number of viruses and determine the multiplicity of infection (MOI). To evaluate the effects of reoviruses on cancer cells derived from HCC biopsies, replication of reovirus RNA, viral protein production, cytopathic effects (CPE), and cancer cell viability were assessed at different intervals post-infection.
Results: Replication of reovirus RNA and viral protein production were detected in cancer cells. Also, different levels of viral protein production, CPE, cytotoxicity, and cancer cell viability were observed at different intervals post-infection with human reoviruses. In contrast, normal human fibroblasts, which were used as negative control, remained unchanged.
Conclusions: For the first time, the effects of human reoviruses on HCC biopsies were investigated. The results showed that human reoviruses could replicate in and destroy cancer cells derived from HCC biopsies. Overall, human reoviruses can be potentially used for the treatment of HCC.