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Tumors infected with a recombinant defective adenovirus expressing interleukin 12 (IL-12) undergo regression, associated with a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-mediated antitumor immune response. In the present study we generated anti-CT26 CTLs by short-term coculture of CT26 cells and lymph node cells obtained from mice harboring subcutaneous CT26 tumors injected with an adenoviral vector expressing IL-12 (AdCMVIL-12), control adenovirus (AdCMVlacZ), or saline. Regression of small intrahepatic CT26 tumors in unrelated syngeneic animals was achieved with CTLs derived from mice whose subcutaneous tumors had been injected with AdCMVIL-12 but not with CTLs from the other two control groups. The necessary and sufficient effector cell population for adoptive transfer consisted of CD8+ T cells that showed anti-CT26 specificity partly directed against the AH1 epitope presented by H-2Ld. Interestingly, treatment of a subcutaneous tumor nodule with AdCMVIL-12, combined with intravenous adoptive T cell therapy with short-term CTL cultures, had a marked synergistic effect against large, concomitant live tumors. Expression of IL-12 in the liver in the vicinity of the hepatic tumor nodules, owing to spillover of the vector into the systemic circulation, appeared to be involved in the increased in vivo antitumor activity of injected CTLs. In addition, adoptive T cell therapy improved the outcome of tumor nodules transduced with suboptimal doses of AdCMVIL-12. Our data provide evidence of a strong synergy between gene transfer of IL-12 and adoptive T cell therapy. This synergy operates both at the induction and effector phases of the CTL response, thus providing a rationale for combined therapeutic strategies for human malignancies.

Original publication




Journal article


Human gene therapy

Publication Date





113 - 125


Departmento de Medicina Interna, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.


T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Tumor Cells, Cultured, Animals, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Humans, Mice, Adenoviridae, Neoplasms, Experimental, Interleukin-12, Immunotherapy, Adoptive, Immunomagnetic Separation, Gene Transfer Techniques, Neoplasm Transplantation, Female