: Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive asbestos-related cancer, against which no curative modalities exist. Oncolytic virotherapy is a promising therapeutic approach, for which MM is an ideal candidate; indeed, the pleural location provides direct access for the intra-tumoral injection of oncolytic viruses (OVs). Some non-human OVs offer advantages over human OVs, including the non-pathogenicity in humans and the absence of pre-existing immunity. We previously showed that caprine herpesvirus 1 (CpHV-1), a non-pathogenic virus for humans, can kill different human cancer cell lines. Here, we assessed CpHV-1 effects on MM (NCI-H28, MSTO, NCI-H2052) and non-tumor mesothelial (MET-5A) cells. We found that CpHV-1 reduced cell viability and clonogenic potential in all MM cell lines without affecting non-tumor cells, in which, indeed, we did not detect intracellular viral DNA after treatment. In particular, CpHV-1 induced MM cell apoptosis and accumulation in G0/G1 or S cell cycle phases. Moreover, CpHV-1 strongly synergized with cisplatin, the drug currently used in MM chemotherapy, and this agent combination did not affect normal mesothelial cells. Although further studies are required to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the selective CpHV-1 action on MM cells, our data suggest that the CpHV-1-cisplatin combination could be a feasible strategy against MM.
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