Tumor uptake and elimination of 2 ',2 '-difluoro-2 '-deoxycytidine (gemcitabine) after deoxycytidine kinase gene transfer: Correlation with in vivo tumor response CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Blackstock, A. W., Lightfoot, H., Case, L. D., Tepper, J. E., Mukherji, S. K., Mitchell, B. S., Swarts, S. G., Hess, S. M. 2001; 7 (10): 3263-3268


We hypothesized that tumor uptake and elimination of 2',2'-difluoro-2'-deoxycytidine/2',2'-difluoro-2'-deoxycytidine 5'-triphosphate (dFdCyd/dFdCTP) would be altered after dCK gene transfer and that this change would result in an enhanced cytotoxic effect. To test this hypothesis, we examined dFdCyd/dFdCTP uptake and clearance in HT-29 human colon carcinoma xenografts in nude mice by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and fluorine-19 magnetic resonance spectroscopy (F-19 MRS).HT-29 tumors were grown from cells infected with either the retroviral vector alone (LNPO-LacZ) or vector containing the dCK gene (LNPO-dCK). HPLC and F-19 MRS analyses were performed after a single 160 mg/kg i.p. injection of dFdCyd. Tumor response was determined in animals receiving a similar dosing schedule of dFdCyd.HPLC experiments revealed an increased tumor accumulation of dFdCTP in xenografts overexpressing dCK compared with wild-type controls (P < or = 0.05). dFdCTP in the dCK-infected tumors was easily identified at 24 h postinjection. Conversely, no dFdCTP could be detected in the control xenografts 14 h postinjection. Subsequent F-19 MRS experiments confirmed an altered uptake, revealing a 2.5-fold greater accumulation of dFdCyd/dFdCTP in the dCK xenografts. Whereas a modest tumor growth delay was observed in the wild-type tumors receiving dFdCyd, dCK xenografts demonstrated a marked tumor growth delay following treatment (P < or = 0.05).These data support the hypothesis that increased expression of dCK cDNA in HT-29 xenografts results in an enhanced dFdCTP accumulation and prolonged elimination kinetics, and ultimately a potentiated in vivo tumor response to dFdCyd. Related to these effects, changes in the overall tumor metabolism of dFdCyd/dFdCTP was detectable by noninvasive F-19 MRS. These data are relevant to future preclinical and clinical studies evaluating dCK gene transfer and dFdCyd therapy.

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View details for PubMedID 11595723