Therapeutic ultrasound facilitates antiangiogenic gene delivery and inhibits prostate tumor growth

Maayan Duvshani-Eshet, Ofra Benny, Avigail Morgenstern, Marcelle Machluf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Gene therapy clinical trials are limited due to several hurdles concerning the type of vector used, particularly, the viral vectors, and transfection efficacy when non-viral vectors are used. Therapeutic ultrasound is a promising non-viral technology that can be used in the clinical setting. Here, for the first time, we show the efficacy of therapeutic ultrasound to deliver genes encoding for hemopexin-like domain fragment (PEX), an inhibitor of angiogenesis, to prostate tumors in vivo. Moreover, the addition of an ultrasound contrast agent (Optison) to the transfection process was evaluated. Prostate cancer cells and endothelial cells (EC) were transfected in vitro with cDNA-PEX using therapeutic ultrasound alone (TUS + pPEX) or with Optison (TUS + pPEX + Optison). The biological activity of the expressed PEX was assessed using proliferation, migration, and apoptosis assays done on EC and prostate cancer cells. TUS + pPEX + Optison led to the inhibition of EC and prostate cancer cell proliferation (<65%), migration (<50%), and an increase in apoptosis. In vivo, C57/black mice were inoculated s.c. with prostate cancer cells. The tumors were treated with TUS + pPEX and TUS + pPEX + Optison either once or repeatedly. Tumor growth was evaluated, after which histology and immunohistochemistry analyses were done. A single treatment of TUS + pPEX led to a 35% inhibition in tumor growth. Using TUS + PEX + Optison led to an inhibition of 50%. Repeated treatments of TUS + pPEX+ Optison were found to significantly (P < 0.001) inhibit prostate tumor growth by 80%, along with the angiogenic indices, with no toxicity to the surrounding tissues. These results depict the efficacy of therapeutic ultrasound as a non-viral technology to efficiently deliver genes to tumors in general, and to deliver angiogenic inhibitors to prostate cancer in particular.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2371-2382
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


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