Research Papers:

Co-treatment with therapeutic neural stem cells expressing carboxyl esterase and CPT-11 inhibit growth of primary and metastatic lung cancers in mice

Bo-Rim Yi _, Seung U. Kim and Kyung-Chul Choi

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:12835-12848. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2547

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Bo-Rim Yi1, Seung U. Kim2, Kyung-Chul Choi1

1Laboratory of Biochemistry and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Chungbuk, Republic of Korea

2Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Correspondence to:

Kyung-Chul Choi, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: Lung cancer, metastasis, interferon-beta, 5-fluorocytosine, stem cell therapy

Received: July 12, 2014     Accepted: September 29, 2014     Published: October 24, 2014


In this study, neural stem cells (NSCs)-derived enzyme/prodrug therapy (NDEPT) was used to treat primary lung cancer or metastatic lung cancer in the brain. To confirm the anti-tumor effect of NSCs expressing carboxyl esterase (CE), A549 lung cancer cells were treated with HB1.F3.CE cells and CPT-11. A significant decrease in the viability/proliferation of lung cancer cells was observed compared to negative controls or cells treated with CPT-11 alone. To produce a mouse model of primary lung cancer or lung cancer metastasis to the brain, A549 cells were implanted in the dorsal area of the mouse or right hemisphere. CM-DiI pre-stained stem cells were implanted near the primary lung cancer tumor mass or in the contralateral brain. Two days after stem cells injection, mice were inoculated with CPT-11 (13.5 kg/mouse/day) via intraperitoneal injection. In the primary lung cancer mouse models, tumor mass was 80% lower in response to HB1.F3.CE in conjunction with CPT-11, while it was only reduced by 40% in the group treated with CPT-11 alone. Additionally, therapeutic efficacy of co-treatment with stem cells and CPT-11 was confirmed by detection of apoptosis and necrosis in primary and metastatic lung cancer tissues. By secreting VEGF, tumor cells modulate Erk1/2 and Akt signaling and migration of stem cells. This further increased tumor-selectivity of stem cell/prodrug co-therapy. Overall, these results indicate that NSCs expressing the therapeutic gene may be a powerful tool for treatment of primary lung cancer or metastasis of lung cancer to the brain.

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