Tumor-targeted enzyme/prodrug therapy mediates long-term disease-free survival of mice bearing disseminated neuroblastoma

Academic Article


  • Neural stem cells and progenitor cells migrate selectively to tumor loci in vivo. We exploited the tumor-tropic properties of HB1.F3.C1 cells, an immortalized cell line derived from human fetal telencephalon, to deliver the cDNA encoding a secreted form of rabbit carboxylesterase (rCE) to disseminated neuroblastoma tumors in mice. This enzyme activates the prodrug CPT-11 more efficiently than do human enzymes. Mice bearing multiple tumors were treated with rCE-expressing HB1.F3.C1 cells and schedules of administration of CPT-11 that produced levels of active drug (SN-38) tolerated by patients. Both HB1.F3.C1 cells and CPT-11 were given i.v. None of the untreated mice and 30% of mice that received only CPT-11 survived long term. In contrast, 90% of mice treated with rCE-expressing HB1.F3.C1 cells and 15 mg/kg CPT-11 survived for 1 year without detectable tumors. Plasma carboxylesterase activity and SN-38 levels in mice receiving both rCE-expressing HB1.F3.C1 cells (HB1.F3.C1/AdCMVrCE) and CPT-11 were comparable with those in mice receiving CPT-11 only. These data support the hypothesis that the antitumor effect of the described neural stem/progenitor cell-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (NDEPT) is mediated by production of high concentrations of active drug selectively at tumor sites, thereby maximizing the antitumor effect of CPT-11. NDEPT approaches merit further investigation as effective, targeted therapy for metastatic tumors. We propose that the described approach may have greatest use for eradicating minimum residual disease. ©2007 American Association for Cancer Research.
  • Published In

  • Cancer Research  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Danks MK; Yoon KJ; Bush RA; Remack JS; Wierdl M; Tsurkan L; Kim SU; Garcia E; Metz MZ; Najbauer J
  • Start Page

  • 22
  • End Page

  • 25
  • Volume

  • 67
  • Issue

  • 1