In vivo selection of autologous MGMT gene-modified cells following reduced-intensity conditioning with BCNU and temozolomide in the dog model

Cancer Gene Ther. 2012 Aug;19(8):523-9. doi: 10.1038/cgt.2012.25. Epub 2012 May 25.


Chemotherapy with 1,3-bis (2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) and temozolomide (TMZ) is commonly used for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and other cancers. In preparation for a clinical gene therapy study in patients with glioblastoma, we wished to study whether these reagents could be used as a reduced-intensity conditioning regimen for autologous transplantation of gene-modified cells. We used an MGMT(P140K)-expressing lentivirus vector to modify dog CD34(+) cells and tested in four dogs whether these autologous cells engraft and provide chemoprotection after transplantation. Treatment with O(6)-benzylguanine (O6BG)/TMZ after transplantation resulted in gene marking levels up to 75%, without significant hematopoietic cytopenia, which is consistent with hematopoietic chemoprotection. Retrovirus integration analysis showed that multiple clones contribute to hematopoiesis. These studies demonstrate the ability to achieve stable engraftment of MGMT(P140K)-modified autologous hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) after a novel reduced-intensity conditioning protocol using a combination of BCNU and TMZ. Furthermore, we show that MGMT(P140K)-HSC engraftment provides chemoprotection during TMZ dose escalation. Clinically, chemoconditioning with BCNU and TMZ should facilitate engraftment of MGMT(P140K)-modified cells while providing antitumor activity for patients with poor prognosis glioblastoma or alkylating agent-sensitive tumors, thereby supporting dose-intensified chemotherapy regimens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carmustine / therapeutic use*
  • DNA Modification Methylases* / genetics
  • DNA Modification Methylases* / metabolism
  • DNA Repair Enzymes* / genetics
  • DNA Repair Enzymes* / metabolism
  • Dacarbazine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dacarbazine / therapeutic use
  • Dogs
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Lentivirus
  • Temozolomide
  • Transplantation Conditioning
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins* / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins* / metabolism


  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Dacarbazine
  • DNA Modification Methylases
  • MGMT protein, human
  • DNA Repair Enzymes
  • Carmustine
  • Temozolomide