Enhanced therapeutic effect of HSV-tk+GCV gene therapy and ionizing radiation prostate cancer

Madhu Chhikara, Hanxian Huang, Maria T. Vlachaki, Xiaohong Zhu, Bin S. Teh, Kam J. Chiu, Shiao Woo, Barry Berner, E. O.Brian Smith, Kerby C. Oberg, Laura K. Aguilar, Timothy C. Thompson, Edward Brian Butler, Estuardo Aguilar-Cordova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Standard therapies for prostate cancer including radiation, prostatectomy, and hormone ablation have significant toxicities and recurrence risk. HSV-tk gene therapy may be effective in combination with radiation therapy due to complementary mechanisms and distinct toxicity profiles. Mouse prostate tumors transplanted subcutaneously were treated by either gene therapy involving intratumoral injection of AdV-tk followed by systemic ganciclovir or local radiation therapy or the combination of gene and radiation therapy. Both single-therapy modalities showed a 38% decrease in tumor growth compared to controls. The combined treatment resulted in a decrease of 61%. In addition the combined-therapy group had a mean survival of 22 days versus 16.6 days for single therapy and 13.8 days for nontreated controls. To analyze systemic anti-tumor activity, lung metastases were generated by tail vein injection of RM-1 prostate cancer cells on the same day that they were injected subcutaneously. The primary tumors were treated as before with AdV-tk followed by ganciclovir, radiation, or the combination. The number of lung nodules was reduced by 37% following treatment with AdV-tk, whereas radiotherapy alone had no effect on metastatic growth. The combination led to an additional 50% reduction in lung colonization. Primary tumors that received the combination therapy had a marked increase in CD4 T cell infiltrate. Primary tumors report showing a dramatic systemic effect following the local combination treatment of radiation and AdV-tk. A clinical study using this strategy has been initiated and patient accrual is ongoing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-542
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Adenoviral vector
  • Gene therapy
  • Herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Enhanced therapeutic effect of HSV-tk+GCV gene therapy and ionizing radiation prostate cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this