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Interferon α2b gene delivery using adenoviral vector causes inhibition of tumor growth in xenograft models from a variety of cancers


A recombinant adenovirus expressing human interferon α2b driven by the cytomegalovirus promoter, IACB, was shown to produce and secrete biologically active protein in vitro and in vivo. Intravenous administration of IACB in Buffalo rats resulted in circulating levels of biologically active human interferon at 70,000 international units/mL for up to 15 days. Distribution of interferon protein after IACB administration was different from that seen with the subcutaneous delivery of interferon protein. Higher levels of interferon protein were observed in liver and spleen after IACB delivery compared to protein delivery. The antitumor efficacy of IACB, as measured by suppression of tumor growth, was tested in athymic nude mice bearing established human tumor xenografts from different types of human cancer. Subcutaneous tumors most responsive to the intratumoral administration of IACB ranked as U87MG (glioblastoma) and K562 (chronic myelogenous leukemia), followed by Hep 3B (hepatocellular carcinoma) and LN229 cells (glioblastoma). Intravenous administration of IACB in animals bearing U87MG or Hep 3B xenografts was also effective in suppressing tumor growth, although to a lesser extent than the intratumoral administration. IACB was also tested in a metastatic model in beige/SCID mice generated with H69 (small cell lung carcinoma) cells and was found to prolong survival in tumor-bearing animals. This suggested that interferon gene delivery can be effective in suppressing tumor growth in a wide variety of cells. Cancer Gene Therapy (2001) 8, 788–795

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We thank Drs. Stephen Chang and Robert Ralston for their support and suggestions, Drake LaFace for reading the manuscript, Doug Cornell and Suganto Sutjipto for virus production, Susan Miller for determination of viral particle concentration, and Debbie Muilwijk for animal husbandry.

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Correspondence to C M Iqbal Ahmed.

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Iqbal Ahmed, C., Johnson, D., Demers, G. et al. Interferon α2b gene delivery using adenoviral vector causes inhibition of tumor growth in xenograft models from a variety of cancers. Cancer Gene Ther 8, 788–795 (2001).

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  • Gene therapy
  • tumor suppression
  • interferon
  • adenovirus

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