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Cancer Gene Ther. 2001 Sep;8(9):649-54.

Heat-inducible TNF-alpha gene therapy combined with hyperthermia using magnetic nanoparticles as a novel tumor-targeted therapy.

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Department of Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8603, Japan.


Heat-induced therapeutic gene expression is highly desired for gene therapy to minimize side effects. Furthermore, if the gene expression is triggered by heat stress, combined therapeutic effects of hyperthermia and gene therapy may be possible. We combined TNF-alpha gene therapy driven by the stress-inducible promoter, gadd 153, with hyperthermia using magnetite cationic liposomes (MCLs). In nude mice, MCLs induced cell death throughout much of the tumor area on heating under an alternating magnetic field. This heat stress also resulted in a 3-fold increase in TNF-alpha gene expression driven by the gadd 153 promoter as compared with that of nonheated tumor. TNF-alpha gene expression was also observed in the peripheral area where the hyperthermic effect was not enough to cause cell death. The combined treatment strongly arrested tumor growth in nude mice over a 30-day period, suggesting potential for cancer treatment.

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