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Hasenpusch, Günther; Pfeifer, Corinna; Aneja, Manish Kumar; Wagner, Kai; Reinhardt, Dietrich; Gilon, Michal; Ohana, Patricia; Hochberg, Avraham and Rudolph, Carsten (2011): Aerosolized BC-819 inhibits primary but not secondary lung cancer growth.
In: PLOS ONE 6(6), e20760 [PDF, 1MB]

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Despite numerous efforts, drug based treatments for patients suffering from lung cancer remains poor. As a promising alternative, we investigated the therapeutic potential of BC-819 for the treatment of lung cancer in mouse tumor models. BC-819 is a novel plasmid DNA which encodes for the A-fragment of Diphtheria toxin and has previously been shown to successfully inhibit tumor growth in human clinical study of bladder carcinoma. In a first set of experiments, we examined in vitro efficacy of BC-819 in human lung cancer cell-lines NCI-H460, NCI-H358 and A549, which revealed >90% reduction of cell growth. In vivo efficacy was examined in an orthotopic mouse xenograft lung cancer model and in a lung metastasis model using luminescent A549-C8-luc adenocarcinoma cells. These cells resulted in peri- and intra-bronchiolar tumors upon intrabronchial application and parenchymal tumors upon intravenous injection, respectively. Mice suffering from these lung tumors were treated with BC-819, complexed to branched polyethylenimine (PEI) and aerosolized to the mice once per week for a period of 10 weeks. Using this regimen, growth of intrabronchially induced lung tumors was significantly inhibited (p = 0.01), whereas no effect could be observed in mice suffering from lung metastasis. In summary, we suggest that aerosolized PEI/BC-819 is capable of reducing growth only in tumors arising from the luminal part of the airways and are therefore directly accessible for inhaled BC-819.

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