Retrovirus-mediated gene transfer as an approachrtcranalyze neuroblastoma relapse after autologous bone marrow transplantation

D. R. Rill, M. Buschle, N. K. Foreman, C. Bartholomew, R. C. Moen, V. M. Santana, J. N. Ihle, M. K. Brenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Disseminated ncuroblastoma is a malignancy of children often treated by intensive chemotherapy/ radiotherapy followed by autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT). A high proportion of those treated subsequently relapse. It is unknown if relapse is a consequence of residual disease in the patient or of contaminating malignant cells remaining in the infused marrow, which, of necessity, is harvested and stored prior to ablative chemotherapy/radiotherapy. The assumption that residual cells in the infused marrow contribute to relapse has lead to the adoption of marrow purging prior to reinfusion. However, neither the necessity nor the efficacy of the procedure have been established. We now show how retroviral-mediated gene transfer using the LNL6 vector may resolve this issue. Clonogenic neuroblastoma cells in patient marrow can be transduced and the NEOR gene detected by observing individual neuroblastoma cell colony growth in G418, and by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of individual colonies. Efficiency of transduction is between 0 and 13.5%. If marrow is exposed to LNL6 prior to infusion and marked cells are detected at the time of relapse, this would demonstrate that infused marrow contributed to disease recurrence. The technique could then be used to analyze the efficacy of marrow purging techniques. Since normal progenitor cells from these patients are also marked, the technique can be used to study factors that modify reconstitution and transducibility of infused marrow. Clinical studies using this approach have now begun.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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