In vivo suppression of osteosarcoma pulmonary metastasis with intravenous osteocalcin promoter-based toxic gene therapy

Toshiro Shirakawa, Song Chu Ko, Thomas A. Gardner, Jun Cheon, Tadayuki Miyamoto, Akinobu Gotoh, Leland W.K. Chung, Chinghai Kao

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Pulmonary metastases are the main cause of death of patients with several types of cancer, including osteosarcoma, renal cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, and breast cancer. Previously, we demonstrated that intralesional injection of the recombinant adenovirus (Ad) vector containing the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (TK) gene driven by an osteocalcin (OC) promoter (Ad-OC-TK) effectively suppressed the growth of osteosarcoma cells in vitro and tumors in vivo in a tumor-specific manner when supplemented with the prodrug acyclovir (ACV). In this communication, we studied the potential efficacy of the treatment of osteosarcoma pulmonary metastases with a systemic delivery route of Ad-OC-TK supplemented with ACV. We established osteosarcoma lung metastases in nude mice by the intravenous injection of rat osteosarcoma cells, ROS 17/2.8. These cells colonized and formed tumor nodules within 1 week in the lungs of nude mice. Whereas systemic delivery of a recombinant Ad vector containing the Escherichia coli β-galactosidase (β-gal) gene driven by a Rous sarcoma virus universal promoter (Ad-RSV-β-gal) resulted in the nonspecific expression of β-gal activity in the lung parenchyma, Ad-OC-β-gal administration resulted in specific β-gal expression in tumor cells deposited in the lung. When nude mice bearing ROS 17/2.8 lung tumors were treated with systemic Ad-OC-TK through tail vein administration, subsequent intraperitoneal ACV treatment significantly decreased the number of tumor nodules (P < .0001) and the net lung wet weight (P = .0005) while significantly increasing (.005 < P < .01) the survival of animals, when compared with untreated and Ad-OC-TK- or ACV-treated control groups. These results suggest that Ad-OC-TK/ACV may be used as a systemic therapy for the treatment of osteosarcoma lung metastasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-280
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Gene Therapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Adenovirus
  • Osteocalcin promoter
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Pulmonary metastasis
  • Thymidine kinase
  • Toxic gene therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research

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