Efficient detection of human circulating tumor cells without significant production of false-positive cells by a novel conditionally replicating adenovirus

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2016 Mar 2:3:16001. doi: 10.1038/mtm.2016.1. eCollection 2016.


Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are promising biomarkers in several cancers, and thus methods and apparatuses for their detection and quantification in the blood have been actively pursued. A novel CTC detection system using a green fluorescence protein (GFP)-expressing conditionally replicating adenovirus (Ad) (rAd-GFP) was recently developed; however, there is concern about the production of false-positive cells (GFP-positive normal blood cells) when using rAd-GFP, particularly at high titers. In addition, CTCs lacking or expressing low levels of coxsackievirus-adenovirus receptor (CAR) cannot be detected by rAd-GFP, because rAd-GFP is constructed based on Ad serotype 5, which recognizes CAR. In order to suppress the production of false-positive cells, sequences perfectly complementary to blood cell-specific microRNA, miR-142-3p, were incorporated into the 3'-untranslated region of the E1B and GFP genes. In addition, the fiber protein was replaced with that of Ad serotype 35, which recognizes human CD46, creating rAdF35-142T-GFP. rAdF35-142T-GFP efficiently labeled not only CAR-positive tumor cells but also CAR-negative tumor cells with GFP. The numbers of false-positive cells were dramatically lower for rAdF35-142T-GFP than for rAd-GFP. CTCs in the blood of cancer patients were detected by rAdF35-142T-GFP with a large reduction in false-positive cells.