Monitoring the initial delivery of an oncolytic measles virus encoding the human sodium iodide symporter to solid tumors using contrast-enhanced computed tomography

Alan R. Penheiter, David Dingli, Claire E. Bender, Stephen J. Russell, Stephanie K. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Background: We aimed to determine the feasibility of monitoring viral delivery and initial distribution to solid tumors using iodinated contrast agent and micro-computed tomography (CT). Methods: Human BxPC-3 pancreatic tumor xenografts were established in nude mice. An oncolytic measles virus with an additional transcriptional unit encoding the sodium iodide symporter (NIS), as a reporter for viral infection, was mixed with a 1:10 dilution of Omnipaque 300 (GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, WI, USA) contrast agent and injected directly into tumors. Mice were imaged with micro-CT immediately before and after injection to determine the location of contrast agent/virus mixture. Mice were imaged again on day 3 after injection with micro-single-photon emission CT/CT to determine the location of NIS-mediated 99mTcO4 transport. Results: A 1:10 dilution of Omnipaque had no effect on viral infectivity or cell viability in vitro and was more than adequate for CT imaging of the intratumoral injectate distribution. The volume of tumor coverage with initial CT contrast agent and the 3-day postinfection measurement of virally infected tumor volume were significantly correlated. Additionally, regions of the tumor that did not receive contrast agent from the initial injection were largely devoid of viral infection at early time points. Conclusions: Contrast-enhanced viral delivery enables a rapid and accurate prediction of the initial viral distribution within a solid tumor. This technique should enable real-time monitoring of viral propagation from initially infected tumor regions to adjacent tumor regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-597
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Gene Medicine
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012



  • Iodinated contrast agent
  • Omnipaque
  • Oncolytic measles
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Sodium-iodide symporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Drug Discovery
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this