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Cancer Res. 1999 Sep 1;59(17):4369-74.

p53 selective and nonselective replication of an E1B-deleted adenovirus in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Division of Surgical Oncology, University of California Los Angeles, 90095-1782, USA.


An E1B gene-attenuated adenovirus (dl1520) has been proposed to have a selective cytolytic activity in cancer cells with a mutation or deletion in the p53 tumor suppressor gene (p53-null), a defect present in almost half of human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). In this study, the in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity of dl1520 was investigated focusing on two human HCC cell lines, a p53-wild type (p53-wt) cell line and a p53-null cell line. dl1520 was tested for in vitro cytopathic effects and viral replication in the human HCC cell lines Hep3B (p53-null) and HepG2 (p53-wt). The in vivo antitumor effects of dl1520 were investigated in tumors grown s.c. in a severe combined immunodeficient mouse model. In addition, the combination of dl1520 infection with systemic chemotherapy was assessed in these tumor xenografts. At low multiplicities of infection, dl1520 had an apparent p53-dependent in vitro viral growth in HCC cell lines. At higher multiplicities of infection, dl1520 viral replication was independent of the p53 status of the target cells. In vivo, dl1520 significantly retarded the growth of the p53-null Hep3B xenografts, an effect augmented by the addition of cisplatin. However, complete tumor regressions were rare, and most tumors eventually grew progressively. dl1520 had no effect on the in vivo growth of the p53-wt HepG2 cells, with or without cisplatin treatment. The E1B-deleted adenoviral vector dl1520 has an apparent p53-dependent effect in HCC cell lines. However, this effect is lost at higher viral doses and only induces partial tumor regressions without tumor cures in a human HCC xenograft model.

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