Gene-viral cancer therapy using dual-regulated oncolytic adenovirus with antiangiogenesis gene for increased efficacy

Changqing Su, Manli Na, Jie Chen, Xinghua Wang, Yongjing Liu, Weiguo Wang, Qi Zhang, Linfang Li, Ju Long, Xinyuan Liu, Mengchao Wu, Xiaolong Fan, Qijun Qian
Molecular Cancer Research: MCR 2008, 6 (4): 568-75
Conditionally replicative adenovirus (CRAD) represents a promising approach for cancer therapy. Several CRADs controlled by the human telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter have been developed. However, because of their replicative capacity, the importance of cancer specificity for CRADs needs to be further emphasized. In this study, we have developed a novel dual-regulated CRAD, CNHK500-mE, which has its E1a and E1b gene controlled by the human telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter and the hypoxia response element, respectively. It also carries a mouse endostatin expression cassette controlled by the cytomegalovirus promoter. These properties allow for increased cancer cell targeting specificity and decreased adverse side effects. We showed that CNHK500-mE preferentially replicated in cancer cells. Compared with a replication-defective vector carrying the same endostatin expression cassette, CNHK500-mE-mediated transgene expression level was markedly increased via viral replication within cancer cells. In the nasopharyngeal tumor xenograft model, CNHK500-mE injection resulted in antitumor efficacy at day 7 after therapy. Three weeks later, it led to significant inhibition of xenograft tumor growth due to the combined effects of viral oncolytic therapy and antiangiogenesis gene therapy. Pathologic examination showed that most cancer cells were positive for adenoviral capsid protein and for apoptotic terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling in the CNHK500-mE-treated tumor tissues, and the microvessels in these tumor tissues were diminished in quantity and abnormal in morphology. These results suggest that, as a potential cancer therapeutic agent, the CNHK500-mE is endowed with higher specificity to cancer cells and low cytotoxicity to normal cells.

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