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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 1995;121(12):721-8.

Induction of antitumor immunity and treatment of preestablished tumor by interleukin-6-gene-transfected melanoma cells combined with low-dose interleukin-2.

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Department of Immunology, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.


Transfer of cytokine genes into tumor cells has proven a valuable approach for cancer treatment. In order to generate a more effective cancer vaccine, we transfected the human interleukin-6 (IL-6) gene into B16 melanoma cells. A B16 cell clone secreting the highest level of IL-6 was obtained by G418-resistant selection, limiting dilution and IL-6 assay. The IL-6-gene-transfected tumor cells exhibited in vitro growth inhibition, reduced tumorigenicity and decreased metastatic competence. After immunization with the inactivated IL-6-gene-transfected vaccine, the murine cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity, natural killer activity and lymphokine-activated killer activity increased markedly. After treatment with the vaccine, the tumor-bearing mice showed significant growth inhibition of subcutaneous tumor, reduction in pulmonary metastases and extension of survival time. The above therapeutic effect was better when low-dose IL-2 was administered simultaneously, although this dosage of IL-2 had no in vivo antitumor effect. These data demonstrated that IL-6-gene-transfected cancer vaccine has a potent antitumor effect via efficient induction of antitumor immunity, and a better therapeutic effect could be achieved when the vaccine is combined with low-dose IL-2 as adjuvant.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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