Human Gene Therapy
A new approach to immunological therapy of advanced cancer has
been developed in a collaborative effort between The Brady
Urological Institute and the Oncology Center. The initial
clinical trials are being undertaken in men with advanced
kidney cancer. The principle is simple although the technology
is advanced. The cancer containing kidney is removed at surgery
and the cells are grown in tissue culture. The cells are then
infected with a genetically engineered virus that contains a gene
which stimulates the immune system. These cancer cells, which are
armed with genes that will enhance the immune response, are then
radiated so they cannot grow and are reinjected as a vaccine under
the skin of the patient at regular intervals. This technique
has been worked out and documented in experimental animals and
clinical trials in human kidney cancer began in January 1994.
The investigators responsible for this major advance are Drs.
Jonathan Simons, Fray Marshall, Drew Pardoll, Elizabeth Jaffey
and Dr. Richard Mulligan.
Experimentally, the application of this technique to prostate cancer
is also well on its way. Dr. Martin Sanda and Dr. Jonathan Simons
have been able to show that prostate cancer cells can be grown in
culture, infected with the virus, and that these immunologically
activated cells can produce an immune response in animals. These
studies have paved the way for similar trials in human prostate
cancer in similar trials in human prostate cancer in the future.
- Sanda, G.A., Ayyagari, S.J., Jaffee, F,.M.,
Epstein, J.I., Clift, S.L., Cohen, L.K., Dranoff, G.,
Pardoll, D.M., Mulligan, R.C., & Simons, J.W.: Demostration
of a rational strategy for human prostate cancer gene therapy.
J. Urol- 151:622-628, 1994.