Gene therapy of spontaneous canine melanoma and feline fibrosarcoma by intratumoral administration of histoincompatible cells expressing human interleukin-2

Gene Ther. 1996 Dec;3(12):1104-12.


The production of human interleukin-2 (hIL-2) local to the tumor site by engineered histoincompatible cells has been shown in various murine models to promote a strong immune response leading to tumor growth inhibition or rejection. To assess whether this strategy would be similarly applicable for treatment of primary neoplastic cells, two naturally occurring tumors were used as preclinical models; the highly metastatic melanoma of the dog and the low metastatic fibrosarcoma of the cat. We demonstrate that both cats and dogs when treated by tumor surgery, radiotherapy and repeated local injections of xenogeneic Vero cells secreting high levels of hIL-2 relapse less frequently and survive longer than control animals treated by surgery and radiotherapy alone. Local secretion of hIL-2 by the xenogeneic cells is shown to be necessary for the induction of an optimal antitumor effect. Moreover, the safety of the procedure was demonstrated in both animal models and through extensive toxicological analysis performed in rats. These results confirm for the first time to our knowledge the safety and therapeutic potential of a gene transfer strategy in animals with spontaneous metastatic and nonmetastatic tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / radiotherapy
  • Cat Diseases / surgery
  • Cat Diseases / therapy*
  • Cats
  • Cell Survival
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dog Diseases / radiotherapy
  • Dog Diseases / surgery
  • Dog Diseases / therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Fibrosarcoma / genetics*
  • Fibrosarcoma / radiotherapy
  • Fibrosarcoma / secondary
  • Fibrosarcoma / surgery
  • Fibrosarcoma / therapy
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Histocompatibility*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / administration & dosage
  • Interleukin-2 / genetics*
  • Male
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy
  • Melanoma / secondary
  • Melanoma / surgery
  • Melanoma / therapy
  • Melanoma / veterinary*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Recurrence
  • Vero Cells / immunology
  • Vero Cells / transplantation*


  • Interleukin-2