Gene therapy combined with radiation therapy to enhance selectively radiation cytotoxicity in malignant cells represents a new approach for cancer treatment. We investigated the efficacy of adenoviral (Ad5)-directed cytosine deaminase/5-fluorocytosine (CD/5-FC) enzyme/prodrug gene therapy to enhance selectively the tumoricidal action of ionizing radiation in human cancer xenografts derived from a human squamous carcinoma cell line (SQ- 20B). Tumor xenografts grown in hindlimbs of nude mice were transfected with an adenoviral vector (Ad.CMV.CD) containing the cytosine deaminase (CD) gene under the control of a cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter. Mice were injected i.p. with 800 mg/kg of 5-FC for 12 days, and tumors were treated with fractionated radiation at a dose of 5 Gy/day to a total dose of 50 Gy. In larger tumors with a mean volume of 1069 mm3, marked tumor regression to 11% of the original tumor volume was observed at day 21 (P = 0.01). The volumetric regression of smaller tumors with a mean volume of 199 mm3, which received the same combined treatment protocol, was significant at day 12 (P = 0.014). However, unlike large tumors, regression of the smaller tumors continued until day 36 (P = 0.01), with 43% cured at day 26. No cures or significant volumetric reduction in size was observed in tumors treated with radiation alone; Ad.CMV.CD with or without radiation; or with Ad.CMV.CD and 5-FC. These results suggest that the CD/5-FC gene therapy approach is an effective radiosensitizing strategy and may lead to substantial improvement in local tumor control that would translate into improved cure rates and better survival.
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Oct 1 1997|