In vivo gene therapy for prostate cancer: Preclinical evaluation of two different enzyme-directed prodrug therapy systems delivered by identical adenovirus vectors

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Journal Article
Human Gene Therapy, 1998, 9 (11), pp. 1617 - 1626
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Advanced prostate cancer is invariably lethal once it becomes androgen independent (AI). With the aim of developing a new treatment we have used the human androgen-independent prostate cancer cell line, PC-3, to evaluate the effectiveness of two enzyme-directed prodrug therapy (EPT) systems as a novel means for promoting tumor cell destruction in vivo. We have confined our study to the use of a PSA promoter, in a preliminary attempt to achieve prostate specificity. The two EPT systems used were the HSVTK/GCV and PNP/6MPDR systems. These were chosen for their differential dependence on DNA replication for their mechanism of action. In the present work, either the HSVTK or PNP gene, each controlled by a PSA promoter fragment, was delivered by an E1-, replication-deficient human adenovirus (Ad5) into PC-3 tumors growing subcutaneously in BALB/c nude mice. Tumors were injected with a single dose of recombinant Ad5 and mice were treated intraperitoneally with the appropriate prodrug, twice daily, for 6 days thereafter. The growth of established PC-3 tumors was significantly suppressed and host survival increased with a single course of HSVTK/GCV or PNP/6MPDR treatment. HSVTK/GCV-treated PC-3 tumor growth was 80% less than that of control treatments on day 33, while PNP/6MPDR-treated tumor growth was ~ 75% less than that of control treatments on day 52. Survival data showed that 20% of HSVTK/GCV- or PNP/6MPDR-treated animals lived > 45 and > 448 days, respectively, longer than control animals. These results demonstrate that both HSVTK/GCV and PNP/6MPDR therapies interrupt the growth of an aggressive human prostate cancer cell line in vivo.
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