Electrogene therapy combines administration of plasmid DNA into tissue followed by local application of electric pulses. In electrogene therapy with interleukin-12 (IL-12), different routes of administration, different doses of plasmid DNA and different protocols for delivery of electric pulses were evaluated in numerous preclinical studies. Antitumor effectiveness was tested in different types of primary tumors, distantly growing tumors and induced metastases. Intratumoral IL-12 electrogene therapy has been proved to be very effective in local tumor control, having also a systemic effect. Intramuscular and peritumoral IL-12 electrogene therapy had also a pronounced systemic effect and when combined with other treatment strategies resulted in tumor cures. Antitumor effectiveness of IL-12 electrogene therapy is due to the induction of adaptive immunity and innate resistance and anti-angiogenic action. Translation of preclinical studies into clinical trials in human and veterinary oncology has started with encouraging results that would hopefully lead to further investigation of this therapy, also in combination with other cancer treatment modalities.
Keywords: Interleukin-12, electroporation, electrogene therapy, gene electrotransfer, clinical studies, melanoma
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