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      Targeting Malignant Brain Tumors with Antibodies

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          Antibodies have been shown to be a potent therapeutic tool. However, their use for targeting brain diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases and brain cancers, has been limited, particularly because the blood–brain barrier (BBB) makes brain tissue hard to access by conventional antibody-targeting strategies. In this review, we summarize new antibody therapeutic approaches to target brain tumors, especially malignant gliomas, as well as their potential drawbacks. Many different brain delivery platforms for antibodies have been studied such as liposomes, nanoparticle-based systems, cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), and cell-based approaches. We have already shown the successful delivery of single-chain fragment variable (scFv) with CPP as a linker between two variable domains in the brain. Antibodies normally face poor penetration through the BBB, with some variants sufficiently passing the barrier on their own. A “Trojan horse” method allows passage of biomolecules, such as antibodies, through the BBB by receptor-mediated transcytosis (RMT). Such examples of therapeutic antibodies are the bispecific antibodies where one binding specificity recognizes and binds a BBB receptor, enabling RMT and where a second binding specificity recognizes an antigen as a therapeutic target. On the other hand, cell-based systems such as stem cells (SCs) are a promising delivery system because of their tumor tropism and ability to cross the BBB. Genetically engineered SCs can be used in gene therapy, where they express anti-tumor drugs, including antibodies. Different types and sources of SCs have been studied for the delivery of therapeutics to the brain; both mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and neural stem cells (NSCs) show great potential. Following the success in treatment of leukemias and lymphomas, the adoptive T-cell therapies, especially the chimeric antigen receptor-T cells (CAR-Ts), are making their way into glioma treatment as another type of cell-based therapy using the antibody to bind to the specific target(s). Finally, the current clinical trials are reviewed, showing the most recent progress of attractive approaches to deliver therapeutic antibodies across the BBB aiming at the specific antigen.

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          Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of gliomas.

          The poor survival of patients with human malignant gliomas relates partly to the inability to deliver therapeutic agents to the tumor. Because it has been suggested that circulating bone marrow-derived stem cells can be recruited into solid organs in response to tissue stresses, we hypothesized that human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) may have a tropism for brain tumors and thus could be used as delivery vehicles for glioma therapy. To test this, we isolated hMSCs from bone marrow of normal volunteers, fluorescently labeled the cells, and injected them into the carotid artery of mice bearing human glioma intracranial xenografts (U87, U251, and LN229). hMSCs were seen exclusively within the brain tumors regardless of whether the cells were injected into the ipsilateral or contralateral carotid artery. In contrast, intracarotid injections of fibroblasts or U87 glioma cells resulted in widespread distribution of delivered cells without tumor specificity. To assess the potential of hMSCs to track human gliomas, we injected hMSCs directly into the cerebral hemisphere opposite an established human glioma and showed that the hMSCs were capable of migrating into the xenograft in vivo. Likewise, in vitro Matrigel invasion assays showed that conditioned medium from gliomas, but not from fibroblasts or astrocytes, supported the migration of hMSCs and that platelet-derived growth factor, epidermal growth factor, or stromal cell-derived factor-1alpha, but not basic fibroblast growth factor or vascular endothelial growth factor, enhanced hMSC migration. To test the potential of hMSCs to deliver a therapeutic agent, hMSCs were engineered to release IFN-beta (hMSC-IFN-beta). In vitro coculture and Transwell experiments showed the efficacy of hMSC-IFN-beta against human gliomas. In vivo experiments showed that treatment of human U87 intracranial glioma xenografts with hMSC-IFN-beta significantly increase animal survival compared with controls (P < 0.05). We conclude that hMSCs can integrate into human gliomas after intravascular or local delivery, that this engraftment may be mediated by growth factors, and that this tropism of hMSCs for human gliomas can be exploited to therapeutic advantage.
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            Neural stem cells display extensive tropism for pathology in adult brain: evidence from intracranial gliomas.

            One of the impediments to the treatment of brain tumors (e.g., gliomas) has been the degree to which they expand, infiltrate surrounding tissue, and migrate widely into normal brain, usually rendering them "elusive" to effective resection, irradiation, chemotherapy, or gene therapy. We demonstrate that neural stem cells (NSCs), when implanted into experimental intracranial gliomas in vivo in adult rodents, distribute themselves quickly and extensively throughout the tumor bed and migrate uniquely in juxtaposition to widely expanding and aggressively advancing tumor cells, while continuing to stably express a foreign gene. The NSCs "surround" the invading tumor border while "chasing down" infiltrating tumor cells. When implanted intracranially at distant sites from the tumor (e.g., into normal tissue, into the contralateral hemisphere, or into the cerebral ventricles), the donor cells migrate through normal tissue targeting the tumor cells (including human glioblastomas). When implanted outside the CNS intravascularly, NSCs will target an intracranial tumor. NSCs can deliver a therapeutically relevant molecule-cytosine deaminase-such that quantifiable reduction in tumor burden results. These data suggest the adjunctive use of inherently migratory NSCs as a delivery vehicle for targeting therapeutic genes and vectors to refractory, migratory, invasive brain tumors. More broadly, they suggest that NSC migration can be extensive, even in the adult brain and along nonstereotypical routes, if pathology (as modeled here by tumor) is present.
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              Mesenchymal stem cells: potential precursors for tumor stroma and targeted-delivery vehicles for anticancer agents.

              High concentrations of interferon beta (IFN-beta) inhibit malignant cell growth in vitro. However, the therapeutic utility of IFN-beta in vivo is limited by its excessive toxicity when administered systemically at high doses. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) can be used to target delivery of agents to tumor cells. We tested whether MSC can deliver IFN-beta to tumors, reducing toxicity. Human MSC were transduced with an adenoviral expression vector carrying the human IFN-beta gene (MSC-IFN-beta cells). Flow cytometry was used to measure tumor cell proliferation among in vitro co-cultures of MSC-IFN-beta cells and human MDA 231 breast carcinoma cells or A375SM melanoma cells. We used a severe combined immunodeficiency mouse xenograft model (4-10 mice per group) to examine the effects of injected MSC-IFN-beta cells and human recombinant IFN-beta on the growth of MDA 231- and A375SM-derived pulmonary metastases in vivo and on survival. All statistical tests were two-sided. Co-culture of MSC-IFN-beta cells with A375SM cells or MDA 231 cells inhibited tumor cell growth as compared with growth of the tumor cells cultured alone (differences in mean percentage of control cell growth: -94.0% [95% confidence interval [CI] = -81.2% to -106.8%; P<.001] and -104.8% [95% CI = -82.1% to -127.5%; P<.001], respectively). Intravenous injection of MSC-IFN-beta cells into mice with established MDA 231 or A375SM pulmonary metastases led to incorporation of MSC in the tumor architecture and, compared with untreated control mice, to prolonged mouse survival (median survival for MDA 231-injected mice: 60 and 37 days for MSC-injected and control mice, respectively [difference = 23.0 days (95% CI = 14.5 to 34.0 days; P<.001]; median survival for A375SM-injected mice: 73.5 and 30.0 days for MSC-injected and control mice, respectively [difference = 43.5 days (95% CI = 37.0 to 57.5 days; P<.001]). By contrast, intravenous injection of recombinant IFN-beta did not prolong survival in the same models (median survival for MDA 231-injected mice: 41.0 and 37.0 days for IFN-beta-injected and control mice, respectively [difference = 4 days, 95% CI = -5 to 10 days; P = .308]; median survival for A375SM-injected mice: 32.0 and 30.0 days for IFN-beta-injected and control mice, respectively [difference = 2 days, 95% CI = 0 to 4.5 days; P = .059]). Injected MSC-IFN-beta cells suppressed the growth of pulmonary metastases, presumably through the local production of IFN-beta in the tumor microenvironment. MSC may be an effective platform for the targeted delivery of therapeutic proteins to cancer sites.

                Author and article information

                Front Immunol
                Front Immunol
                Front. Immunol.
                Frontiers in Immunology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                25 September 2017
                : 8
                1Department of Research and Development, Blood Transfusion Centre of Slovenia , Ljubljana, Slovenia
                Author notes

                Edited by: Jose A. Garcia-Sanz, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Spain

                Reviewed by: Frank Ward, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom; Luca Vangelista, Nazarbayev University School of Medicine, Kazakhstan; Sasa Kenig, University of Primorska, Slovenia

                *Correspondence: Vladka Čurin Šerbec, vladka.curin@ 123456ztm.si

                Specialty section: This article was submitted to Cancer Immunity and Immunotherapy, a section of the journal Frontiers in Immunology

                Copyright © 2017 Razpotnik, Novak, Čurin Šerbec and Rajcevic.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 4, Equations: 0, References: 151, Pages: 14, Words: 12432


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