Augmentation of antitumor immunity by tumor cells transduced with a retroviral vector carrying the interleukin-2 and interferon-γ cDNAs

Felicia M. Rosenthal, Kathryn Cronin, Rajat Bannerji, David W. Golde, Bernd Gansbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Therapeutic models using gene transfer into tumor cells have pursued three objectives: (1) to induce rejection of the tumor transduced with therapeutic genes, (2) to induce immune-mediated regression of metastatic disease, and (3) to induce long-lasting immunity to protect against challenge with tumor cells or clinical regrowth of micrometastatic disease. Because in vivo therapy for patients with cancer using gene transfer would, as a first step, attempt to eliminate the existing tumor, we have investigated whether antitumor immunity induced by tumor cells secreting a single cytokine could be increased by cotransfer of a second cytokine gene. To test this approach, CMS-5, a murine fibrosarcoma, was transduced with retroviral vectors carrying interleukin-2 (IL-2), interferon-γ (IFN-γ), or granulocyte-macrophage- colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) cDNA alone or IL-2 cDNA in combination with IFN-γ or GM-CSF cDNA. Single cytokine-secreting clones were selected to match levels of cytokine production by double cytokine-secreting clones so that similar amounts of cytokine were secreted. IFN-γ- and IL-2/IFN-γ- secreting CMS-5 cells showed increased levels of major histocompatibility complex class I expression compared with IL-2- and GM-CSF-secreting or parental CMS-5 cells. IL-2/IFN-γ-secreting CMS-5 cells were always rejected by syngeneic mice, whereas the same number of CMS-5 cells secreting only one of these cytokines or mixtures of single cytokine-secreting CMS-5 cells were not rejected. In vivo depletion of CD4+, CD8+, or natural-killer effector cell subpopulations showed that CD8+ cytotoxic T cells were primarily responsible for rejection of IL-2/IFN-γ-transduced tumor cells. Our data show the successful use of a single retroviral vector to stably transduce two cytokine genes into the same tumor cell, leading to an increased effect on the in vivo induction of antitumor immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1289-1298
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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