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J Gene Med. 2016 Sep;18(9):220-33. doi: 10.1002/jgm.2894.

Combined treatment, based on lysomustine administration with mesenchymal stem cells expressing cytosine deaminase therapy, leads to pronounced murine Lewis lung carcinoma growth inhibition.

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Pushchino State Institute of Natural Sciences, Pushchino, Russia.
Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology RAS, Moscow, Russia.
Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology RAS, Moscow, Russia.
N. N. Blokhin Cancer Research Center, Russia.



The combination of stem cell-based gene therapy with chemotherapy comprises an advantageous strategy that results in a reduction of system toxicity effects and an improvement in the general efficacy of treatment. In the present study, we estimated the efficacy of adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AT-MSCs) expressing cytosine deaminase (CDA) combined with lysomustine chemotherapy in mice bearing late stage Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC).


Adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells were transfected with non-insert plasmid construct transiently expressing fused cytosine deaminase-uracil phosphoribosyltransferase protein (CDA/UPRT) or the same construct fused with Herpes Simplex Virus Type1 tegument protein VP22 (CDA/UPRT/VP22). Systemic administration of 5-fluorocytosine (5FC) and lysomustine was implemented after a single intratumoral injection of transfected AT-MSCs.


We demonstrated that direct intratumoral transplantation of AT-MSCs expressing CDA/UPRT or CDA/UPRT/VP22 followed by systemic administration of 5FC resulted in a significant tumor growth inhibition. There was a 56% reduction in tumor volume in mice treated by AT-MSCs-CDA/UPRT + 5FC or with AT-MSCs-CDA/UPRT/VP22 + 5FC compared to control animals grafted with lung carcinoma alone. Transplantation of AT-MSCs-CDA/UPRT + 5FC and AT-MSCs-CDA/UPRT/VP22 + 5FC prolonged the life span of mice bearing LLC by 27% and 31%, respectively. Co-administration of lysomustine and AT-MSCs-CDA/UPRT + 5FC led to tumor growth inhibition (by 86%) and life span extension (by 60%) compared to the control group.


Our data indicate that a combination CDA/UPRT-expressing AT-MSCs with lysomustine has a superior antitumor effect in the murine lung carcinoma model compared to monotherapies with transfected AT-MSCs or lysomustine alone, possibly because of a synergistic effect of the combination therapy. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Lewis lung carcinoma; cytosine deaminase; lysomustine; mesenchymal stem cells; suicide gene therapy

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