Unresectable hepatic colorectal cancer (CRC) metastases are a leading cause of cancer mortality. These tumors and other epithelial tumors often express both cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). Because adenovirus (Ad) vectors infect the liver and lack tumor tropism, they cannot be used for systemic therapy of hepatic metastases. We used COX-2 transcriptional restriction, in combination with transductional Ad hepatic untargeting and tumor retargeting by a bispecific adapter, sCARhMFE, composed of sCAR [the coxsackie/Ad receptor (CAR) ectodomain] and MFE-23 (a single-chain anti-CEA antibody), to untarget liver after i.v. administration of Ad vectors expressing firefly luciferase and to retarget virus to hepatic colorectal tumor xenografts and non-small cell lung tumor xenografts. To improve both liver untargeting and tumor retargeting, we developed sCARfMFE, a trimerized sCARhMFE adapter. Trimerization greatly improves both untargeting of CAR-dependent Ad infection and CEA-dependent virus retargeting in culture and in vivo. Combining sCARfMFE bispecific adapter transductional liver untargeting and transductional tumor retargeting with COX-2 transcriptional tumor-restricted transgene expression increases systemically administered Ad therapeutic efficacy for hepatic CRC tumors, using herpes virus type 1 thymidine kinase (HSV1-tk) as a therapeutic gene in conjunction with the prodrug ganciclovir (GCV). Both transductional untargeting and COX-2 transcriptional restriction also reduce HSV1-tk/GCV hepatic toxicity. In addition, transductional sCARfMFE untargeting reduces the innate immune response to systemic Ad administration. Combined transductional liver Ad untargeting, transductional tumor retargeting, and transcriptional transgene restriction suggests a means to engineer practical, effective therapeutic agents for hepatic CRC metastases in particular, as well as hepatic metastases of other epithelial cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-564
Number of pages11
JournalCancer research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2009


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