NK4 or adenovirus vector expressing NK4 (Ad-NK4) can act bifunctionally as a hepatocyte growth factor antagonist and angiogenesis inhibitor and has potential value in cancer therapy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of Ad-NK4 in combination with gemcitabine (GEM) against pancreatic cancer. In vitro study showed a strong antiproliferative effect of GEM and a potent anti-invasive effect of Ad-NK4 against pancreatic cancer cells. In in vivo experiments, SUIT-2 human pancreatic cancer cells were implanted into the pancreas of nude mice. Mice were treated with Ad-NK4 by injection into the peritumoral region of the pancreas on day 5 after implantation followed by weekly i.p. injections of GEM. On day 28 after implantation, pancreatic tumor volume was significantly smaller than that in mice treated with Ad-LacZ, Ad-NK4 alone, or GEM alone. Furthermore, combination therapy completely suppressed peritoneal dissemination and liver metastases, leading to significantly increased survival. Histologic and immunohistochemical assays of primary tumors indicated that combination therapy prohibited both cell proliferation and angiogenesis, resulting in high levels of apoptosis. These results suggest that peritumoral injection of Ad-NK4 plus GEM is a potent combination therapy for pancreatic cancer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes