Combination of oncolytic adenovirus and endostatin inhibits human retinoblastoma in an in vivo mouse model

Huiping Wang, Fang Wei, Huiming Li, Xunda Ji, Shuxia Li, Xiafang Chen
International Journal of Molecular Medicine 2013, 31 (2): 377-85
There is a critical need for new paradigms in retinoblastoma (RB) treatment that would more efficiently inhibit tumor growth while sparing the vision of patients. Oncolytic adenoviruses with the ability to selectively replicate and kill tumor cells are a promising strategy for cancer gene therapy. Exploration of a novel targeting strategy for RB utilizing combined oncolytic adenovirus and anti-angiogenesis therapy was applied over the course of the current study with positive results. The oncolytic adenoviruses Ad-E2F1 p-E1A and Ad-TERT p-E1 were constructed. The E1 region was regulated by the E2F-1 promoter or the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) promoter, respectively. Effects on both replication and promotion of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) expression were observed in the replication-defective adenovirus Ad-EGFP in diverse cancer cell lines, HXO-RB44, Y79, Hep3B, NCIH460, MCF-7 and HLF. The cancer cell death induced by these agents was also explored. The in situ RB model demonstrated that mice with tumors treated with the oncolytic adenovirus and replication-defective adenovirus Ad-endostatin exhibited notable cancer cell death. This anticancer effect was further examined by stereo microscope, and the survival rate of experimental mice was determined. Both Ad-E2F1 p-E1A and Ad-TERT p-E1 replicated specifically in cancer cells in vitro and promoted EGFP expression in Ad-EGFP, although Ad-E2F1 p-E1A demonstrated superior EGFP promotion activity than Ad-TERT p-E1. In Hep3B, NCIH460 and MCF-7 cells, the number of Ad-TERT p-E1 copies was observed to exceed of the number of Ad-E2F1 p-E1A copies by a minimum of 10-fold. Furthermore, Ad-TERT p-E1 demonstrated significantly superior oncolytic effects in the RB mouse model, and Ad-endostatin effectively suppressed tumor growth and extended the overall lifespan of subjects; however, the Ad-E2F1 p-E1A was clearly less effective in attaining these goals. Most notably, the antitumor effect and survival rate of subjects in the combined Ad-TERT p-E1 + Ad-endostatin group were higher than those treated with either single Ad-TERT p-E1 (p=0.097, p=0.022, respectively) or Ad-endostatin (p=0.037, p=0.006, respectively). In conclusion, application of transcription factor E2F-1 and human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) promoters to control E1 offer some guarantee that not only is RB gene therapy effective, but it is also safe. Combination therapy using the oncolytic adenovirus Ad-TERT p-E1 and replication-defective adenovirus Ad-endostatin demonstrates desirable oncolysis in the in situ RB mouse model. Additionally, E1B19K is important in the RB tumor suppression effect of oncolytic adenoviruses.

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