Immunotherapy of malignancy by in vivo gene transfer into tumors

Gregory E. Plautz, Zhi Yong Yang, Bei Yue Wu, Xiang Gao, Leaf Huang, Gary J. Nabel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

309 Scopus citations


The immune system confers protection against a variety of pathogens and contributes to the surveillance and destruction of neoplastic cells. Several cell types participate in the recognition and lysis of tumors, and appropriate immune stimulation provides therapeutic effects in malignancy. Foreign major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins also serve as a potent stimulus to the immune system. In this report, a foreign MHC gene was introduced directly into malignant tumors in vivo in an effort to stimulate tumor rejection. In contrast to previous attempts to induce tumor immunity by cell-mediated gene transfer, the recombinant gene was introduced directly into tumors in vivo. Expression of the murine class I H-2Ks gene within the CT26 mouse colon adenocarcinoma (H-2Kd) or the MCA 106 fibrosarcoma (H-2Kb) induced a cytotoxic T-cell response to H-2Ks and, more importantly, to other antigens present on unmodified tumor cells. This immune response attenuated tumor growth and caused complete tumor regression in many cases. Direct gene transfer in vivo can therefore induce cell-mediated immunity against specific gene products, which provides an immunotherapeutic effect for malignancy, and potentially can be applied to the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases in man.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4645-4649
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Cancer
  • Gene therapy
  • Major histocompatibility complex
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Genetics


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