Unbiased selection of bone marrow derived cells as carriers for cancer gene therapy

Susanne I. Lang, Timothy Kottke, Jill Thompson, Richard G. Vile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: There is currently great interest in development of cell-based carriers for delivery of viral vectors to metastatic tumors. To date, several cell carriers have been tested based largely upon their predicted tumor-localizing properties. However, cell types may exist which can be mobilized from the circulation by a tumor which have not yet been identified. Here we use an unbiased screen of bone marrow (BM) cells to identify cells which localize to tumors and which might serve as effective candidate cell carriers without any prior prediction or selection. Methods: Unsorted BM cells from green fluorescent protein (GFP)-transgenic donor mice were adoptively transferred into C57B1/6 mice bearing pre-established subcutaneous B16 melanoma tumors. Forty-eight hours and eight days later, tumors, organs and blood were analyzed for GFP-expressing cells by flow cytometry. The phenotype of GFP cells in organs was determined by co-staining with specific cell surface markers. Results: CD45+ hematopoietic cells were readily detected in tumor, spleen, bone marrow, blood and lung at both time points. Within these CD45+ cell populations, preferential accumulation in the tumor was observed of cells expressing Sca-1, c-kit, NK1.1, Thy1.2, CD14, Mac-3 and/or CD11c. Lymphodepletion increased homing to spleen and bone marrow, but not to tumors. Conclusions: We have used an in vivo screen to identify populations of BM-derived donor cells which accumulate within tumors. These studies will direct rational selection of specific cell types which can be tested in standardized assays of cell carrier efficiency for the treatment of metastatic tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-937
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Gene Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Bone marrow
  • Cell carrier
  • Cell distribution
  • Gene therapy
  • Progenitor cells
  • Tumor migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Drug Discovery
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Unbiased selection of bone marrow derived cells as carriers for cancer gene therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this