• Authors: Scaiewicz, V., Sorin, V., Fellig, Y., Birman, T., Mizrahi, A., Galula, J., Abu-Lail, R., Shneider, T., Ohana, P., Buscail, L., Hochberg, A., Czerniak, A.
  • Year: 2010
  • Journal: J Oncol 2010 178174
  • Applications: in vivo / DNA / in vivo-jetPEI


Tumor cells were trypsinized and resuspended in PBS X1. A final volume of 100 μl of cell suspension was injected subcutaneously into athymic nude mice (5–6 weeks old). After tumor reached an approximated size of 9mm3, 3 treatments were given, with a 2-day interval between each treatment, by direct injection into the tumor. Treatment consisted of 25 μg plasmid mixed with the in vivo-jetPEI (N/P = 6) diluted in 50 μl of 5% w/v glucose. Animals were sacrificed 3 days after the third treatment; tumors were excised for ex vivo measurements and for pathology and molecular studies.


Pancreatic cancer is the eighth most common cause of death from cancer in the world, for which palliative treatments are not effective and frequently accompanied by severe side effects. We propose a DNA-based therapy for pancreatic cancer using a nonviral vector, expressing the diphtheria toxin A chain under the control of the H19 gene regulatory sequences. The H19 gene is an oncofetal RNA expressed during embryo development and in several types of cancer. We tested the expression of H19 gene in patients, and found that 65% of human pancreatic tumors analyzed showed moderated to strong expression of the gene. In vitro experiments showed that the vector was effective in reducing Luciferase protein activity on pancreatic carcinoma cell lines. In vivo experiment results revealed tumor growth arrest in different animal models for pancreatic cancer. Differences in tumor size between control and treated groups reached a 75% in the heterotopic model (P = .037) and 50% in the orthotopic model (P = .007). In addition, no visible metastases were found in the treated group of the orthotopic model. These results indicate that the treatment with the vector DTA-H19 might be a viable new therapeutic option for patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer.