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Cancer Gene Ther. 2009 Apr;16(4):373-81. doi: 10.1038/cgt.2008.86. Epub 2008 Oct 31.

Translational strategies exploiting TNF-alpha that sensitize tumors to radiation therapy.

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Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.


TNFerade is a radioinducible adenoviral vector expressing tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) (Ad.Egr-TNF) currently in a phase III trial for inoperable pancreatic cancer. We studied B16-F1 melanoma tumors in TNF receptor wild-type (C57BL/6) and deficient (TNFR1,2-/- and TNFR1-/-) mice. Ad.Egr-TNF+IR inhibited tumor growth compared with IR in C57BL/6 but not in receptor-deficient mice. Tumors resistant to TNF-alpha were also sensitive to Ad.Egr-TNF+IR in C57BL/6 mice. Ad.Egr-TNF+IR produced an increase in tumor-associated endothelial cell apoptosis not observed in receptor-deficient animals. Also, B16-F1 tumors in mice with germline deletions of TNFR1,2, TNFR1 or TNF-alpha, or in mice receiving anti-TNF-alpha exhibited radiosensitivity. These results show that tumor-associated endothelium is the principal target for Ad.Egr-TNF radiosensitization and implicate TNF-alpha signaling in tumor radiosensitivity.

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