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Cancer Gene Ther. 2005 Sep;12(9):757-68.

Epidermal growth factor receptor-transfected bone marrow stromal cells exhibit enhanced migratory response and therapeutic potential against murine brain tumors.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-1863, USA.


We have created a novel cellular vehicle for gene therapy of malignant gliomas by transfection of murine bone marrow stroma cells (MSCs) with a cDNA encoding epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). These cells (EGFR-MSCs) demonstrate enhanced migratory responses toward glioma-conditioned media in comparison to primary MSCs in vitro. Enhanced migration of EGFR-MSC was at least partially dependent on EGF-EGFR, PI3-, MAP kinase kinase, and MAP kinases, protein kinase C, and actin polymerization. Unlike primary MSCs, EGFR-MSCs were resistant to FasL-mediated cytotoxicity and were capable of stimulating allogeneic mixed lymphocyte reaction, suggesting EGFR-MSCs possess suitable characteristics as vehicles for brain tumor immuno-gene therapy. Following injection at various sites, including the contralateral hemisphere in the brain of syngeneic mice, EGFR-MSCs were able to migrate toward GL261 gliomas or B16 melanoma in vivo. Finally, intratumoral injection with EGFR-MSC adenovirally engineered to secrete interferon-alpha to intracranial GL261 resulted in significantly prolonged survival in comparison to controls. These data indicate that EGFR-MSCs may serve as attractive vehicles for infiltrating brain malignancies such as malignant gliomas.

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