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Clin Cancer Res. 2007 Apr 15;13(8):2313-7.

Targeting TRAIL agonistic receptors for cancer therapy.

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Cristina Gandini Medical Oncology Unit, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan, Italy.


Based on preclinical studies demonstrating that tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) exerts a potent and cancer cell-specific proapoptotic activity, recombinant TRAIL as well as agonistic anti-TRAIL-R1 and anti-TRAIL-R2 antibodies recently entered clinical trials. Additionally, gene therapy approaches using TRAIL-encoding adenovirus (Ad-TRAIL) are currently being developed to overcome the limitations inherent to TRAIL receptor targeting, i.e., pharmacokinetic of soluble TRAIL, pattern of receptor expression, and tumor cell resistance. To optimize gene therapy approaches, CD34+ cells transduced with Ad-TRAIL (CD34-TRAIL+) have been investigated as cellular vehicles for TRAIL delivery. Transduced cells exhibit a potent tumor killing activity on a variety of tumor cell types both in vitro and in vivo and are also cytotoxic against tumor cells resistant to soluble TRAIL. Studies in tumor-bearing nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient mice suggest that the antitumor effect of CD34-TRAIL+ cells is mediated by both direct tumor cell killing due to apoptosis and indirect tumor cell killing due to vascular-disrupting mechanisms. The clinical translation of cell and gene therapy approaches represent a challenging strategy that might achieve systemic tumor targeting and increased intratumor delivery of the therapeutic agent.

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