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Oncoimmunology

Single low-dose cyclophosphamide combined with interleukin-12 gene therapy is superior to a metronomic schedule in inducing immunity against colorectal carcinoma in mice.


PMID 23170252

Abstract

The use of conventional cytotoxic agents at metronomic schedules, alone or in combination with targeted agents or immunotherapy, is being explored as a promising anticancer strategy. We previously reported a potent antitumor effect of a single low-dose cyclophosphamide and interleukin-12 (IL-12) gene therapy against advanced gastrointestinal carcinoma, in mice. Here, we assessed whether the delivery of IL-12 by gene therapy together with metronomic cyclophosphamide exerts antitumor effects in a murine model of colorectal carcinoma. This combination therapy was able, at least in part, to reverse immunosuppression, by decreasing the number of regulatory T cells (Tregs) as well as of splenic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). However, metronomic cyclophosphamide plus IL-12 gene therapy failed to increase the number of tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes and, more importantly, to induce a specific antitumor immune response. With respect to this, cyclophosphamide at a single low dose displayed a superior anticancer profile than the same drug given at a metronomic schedule. Our results may have important implications in the design of new therapeutic strategies against colorectal carcinoma using cyclophosphamide in combination with immunotherapy.

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