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Mol Cancer. 2010 Oct 13;9:270. doi: 10.1186/1476-4598-9-270.

FasL and FADD delivery by a glioma-specific and cell cycle-dependent HSV-1 amplicon virus enhanced apoptosis in primary human brain tumors.

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Laboratory of Cancer Gene Therapy, Cellular and Molecular Research Division, Humphrey Oei Institute of Cancer Research, National Cancer Centre, 169610 Singapore.



Glioblastoma multiforme is the most malignant cancer of the brain and is notoriously difficult to treat due to the highly proliferative and infiltrative nature of the cells. Herein, we explored the combination treatment of pre-established human glioma xenograft using multiple therapeutic genes whereby the gene expression is regulated by both cell-type and cell cycle-dependent transcriptional regulatory mechanism conferred by recombinant HSV-1 amplicon vectors.


We demonstrated for the first time that Ki67-positive proliferating primary human glioma cells cultured from biopsy samples were effectively induced into cell death by the dual-specific function of the pG8-FasL amplicon vectors. These vectors were relatively stable and exhibited minimal cytotoxicity in vivo. Intracranial implantation of pre-transduced glioma cells resulted in better survival outcome when compared with viral vectors inoculated one week post-implantation of tumor cells, indicating that therapeutic efficacy is dependent on the viral spread and mode of viral vectors administration. We further showed that pG8-FasL amplicon vectors are functional in the presence of commonly used treatment regimens for human brain cancer. In fact, the combined therapies of pG8-FasL and pG8-FADD in the presence of temozolomide significantly improved the survival of mice bearing intracranial high-grade gliomas.


Taken together, our results showed that the glioma-specific and cell cycle-dependent HSV-1 amplicon vector is potentially useful as an adjuvant therapy to complement the current gene therapy strategy for gliomas.

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