Interleukin-2 gene transfer into human transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder

M. Milella, J. Jacobelli, F. Cavallo, A. Guarini, F. Velotti, L. Frati, R. Foà, G. Forni, A. Santoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder is one of the human cancers most responsive to immunotherapy, and local interleukin-2 (IL-2) production appears to be an important requirement for immunotherapy to be effective. In this study, we engineered two human bladder cancer cell lines (RT112 and EJ) to constitutively release human IL-2 by retroviral vector-mediated gene transfer. Following infection and selection, stable and consistent production of biologically active IL-2 was demonstrated at both the mRNA and the protein level. Morphology, in vitro growth rate and proliferation, as well as other cytokine gene mRNA or membrane adhesion receptor expression, were not altered in IL-2 transduced cells as compared to their parental or control vector-infected counterparts. Moreover, IL-2 engineered cells lost their tumorigenicity into nu/nu mice and the mechanism of rejection appeared to involve multiple host effector cell populations, among which a prominent role was played by neutrophils and radiosensitive cells. These findings may offer support to the development of an IL-2-based gene therapy approach to human bladder cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-779
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Gene therapy
  • Human
  • Immunotherapy
  • Interleukin-2
  • Transitional bladder cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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