Transduction of human melanoma cells with interleukin-2 gene reduces tumorigenicity and enhances host antitumor immunity: a nude mouse model.
Human melanoma tumor cells were genetically modified in vitro by transferring the interleukin-2 (IL-2) gene via a retroviral vector into established or fresh tumor cells. In addition, human melanoma cells were transduced in vivo by the direct injection of the IL-2/retroviral vector into melanoma xenografts in nude mice. The gene-modified melanoma cells expressed the IL-2 cytokine gene and secreted biologically active IL-2. Transduction of melanoma cells with the IL-2 gene did not affect the antigenic profile of the cells, but caused a strong abrogation of their tumorigenicity. One million parental cells formed subcutaneous tumors in nude mice. In contrast, various doses of up to 20 x 10(6) IL-2-transduced cells failed to form tumor in the mice. Coinjection of IL-2-producing cells with parental cells inhibited tumor formation even when highly tumorigenic doses of parental cells were used. Histochemical analysis of the injection sites of IL-2-modified cells showed an influx of host immune cells, predominantly macrophages, as early as the third day after inoculation. Neutrophils, mast cells, and eosinophils were also seen in the inflammatory exudate. Eventually, transduced cells showed signs of degeneration and necrosis and ultimately died in 4 weeks. Macrophages were seen in parental tumor sites only during the first few days after injection, and then parental tumors exhibited fast, progressive growth. The study suggests that melanoma cells transduced with the IL-2 cytokine gene may provide an effective vaccine for melanoma patients, whereas the in vivo transduction of tumors with cytokine genes is feasible and may represent a novel approach for the immunotherapy of cancer patients.
Abdel-Wahab, Z; Li, WP; Osanto, S; Darrow, TL; Hessling, J; Vervaert, CE; Burrascano, M; Barber, J; Seigler, HF
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