Immunotherapy I: Cytokine gene transfer strategies

Mario P. Colombo, Guido Forni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cytokine approach to gene therapy of cancer stems from early studies of direct, repeated injection of recombinant cytokines at the tumor site, and extension of the bystander effect that enables a few cytokine gene transduced cells in a tumor to bring about its total destruction. This effect can be extended through the immune system, since cytokine-activated regression of a small mass of tumor cells can afford systemic protection. Transduced cells used as a vaccine provide a local concentration of both cytokine and tumor antigens. Cytokines sustain antigen uptake and presentation by increasing the immunogenic potential of the environment through the recruitment of antigen presenting cells and leukocytes, and activation of a cascade of events which amplify and tone up the efficacy of a vaccine. The promises and difficulties of this approach are discussed by considering what is still missing from experimental studies and what car/best be done as soon as possible in animals and humans to reach compelling conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-432
Number of pages12
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Cytokine
  • Gene transfer
  • Immunotherapy
  • Tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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