The measles virus (MV) is a lytic virus: after infecting a cell and its proliferation, it induces cell death and the disintegration of the cell membrane. It has long been known that MVs have naturally a high affinity to tumor cells, making them a promising anti-cancer agent. The production of MV particles takes place in cultivated human cells. After cell lysis, MVs can be harvested from the supernatant. A major hurdle in the use of MV as an anti-cancer drug is the production of a sufficient amount of MV particles.
Peter Czermak, Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences, Gießen, Germany, and colleagues tryed to improve MV production by the evaluation of various factors with potential impact on MV yield: the number of harvests, the temperature, and the cell concentration. They find that the number of harvests has the strongest positive impact on MV yield and that a temperature of 37 °C is bad for production: MV productivity here was almost 100 times lower than at 32 °C. The cell concentration had no impact on the MV yield.
These findings form the basis to establish large-scale production of measles virus particles as an anticancer drug.
- Oncolytic measles viruses produced at different scales under serum-free conditions,
Katja Weiss, Jarrid Gerstenberger, Denise Salzig, Michael D. Mühlebach, Klaus Cichutek, Ralf Pörtner, Peter Czermak,
Eng. Life Sci. 2015.