Eradication of melanoma pulmonary metastases by immunotherapy with tumor cells engineered to secrete interleukin-2 or gamma interferon.
This study was undertaken to investigate the effectiveness of interleukin-2 (IL-2) and gamma interferon (gammaIFN)-modified B16 melanoma cells in the immunotherapy of established melanoma pulmonary metastases. The genes for IL-2 and gammaIFN were introduced retrovirally into B16 melanoma cells. Transduction with the gammaIFN, but not the IL-2, gene caused significant increases in the expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens on B16-gammaIFN cells. The in vivo tumor-forming capacity of both IL-2- and gammaIFN-transduced B16 cells was drastically reduced when the cells were inoculated subcutaneously (SC) in syngeneic C57BL/6 mice. After intravenous (IV) inoculation, most of the B16-gammaIFN cells were rejected, but B16-IL-2 cells were relatively tumorigenic and formed pulmonary metastases. C57BL/6 mice bearing 4-day established parental B16 lung metastases were treated with B16 parental (B16P) unmodified cells, IL-2- or gammaIFN-modified B16 cells, or a combination of both transduced cells. Treatment consisted of a weekly intraperitoneal (IP) injection of one million irradiated (10,000 rad) tumor cells alone or in combination with exogenous IL-2 for a total of three to four injections. Immunotherapy with B16 parental or B16-IL-2 secreting cells caused a moderate reduction in the number of lung metastases. However, mice treated with gammaIFN-secreting B16 cells showed a significant reduction or complete elimination of lung metastases. There was no additive effect for combining both IL-2- and gammaIFN-modified tumor cells in the immunotherapy. Exogenous IL-2 (50,000-100,000 U/day for 3 days) caused a significant enhancement of the immunotherapeutic benefit of the vaccines. Moreover, mice treated with gammaIFN-modified B16 cells survived longer than the other groups. Twenty-five percent of these mice were tumor free and remained alive for an observation period of 4 months. The in vitro cytolytic activity of splenocytes in chromium release assays did not correlate in every case with the in vivo antitumor effect of the treatment. Our findings have implications for the use of cytokine-modified cells for immunotherapy and for evaluating the therapeutic benefit of this novel treatment.
Abdel-Wahab, Z; Dar, M; Osanto, S; Fong, T; Vervaert, CE; Hester, D; Jolly, D; Seigler, HF
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