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Hum Gene Ther. 1999 Jul 1;10(10):1659-66.

In vivo delivery to tumors of DNA complexed with linear polyethylenimine.

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Lung Cancer Research Group, Institut Albert Bonniot, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France.


Synthetic gene delivery vectors have shown promise in several organs, including brain and lung. Tumor cell targeting, however, is still hindered by their low efficacy. A linear polyethylenimine (L-PEI, Exgen 500) was found to be effective in vivo. Our first attempts to use L-PEI for intratumoral gene delivery were not successful, presumably because of poor diffusion of the complexes within the tumor mass after injection with a syringe. Here we show that L-PEI-mediated transfection can be strongly enhanced when the complexes are delivered slowly into a solid tumor mass, using a micropump. Furthermore, L-PE/DNA complexes actively transfect pseudocystic tumor cells when injected into the cyst cavity. In both cases L-PEI induced a significant and long-lasting (> or =15 days) expression of the reporter gene. Finally, even though systemic delivery of L-PEI/DNA complexes leads to high levels of expression in the lung, this method is not adapted for transfection of subcutaneous tumors implanted in the thigh nor for transfection of lung metastases. Altogether, these results show that L-PEI has promising features for transfection of tumor cells, provided that the mode of delivery is adapted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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