Local administration of IL-12 with an HC vector results in local and metastatic tumor control in pediatric osteosarcoma
Osteosarcoma is the most frequent and aggressive bone tumor in children and adolescents, with a long-term survival rate of 30%. Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is a potent cytokine that bridges innate and adaptive immunity, triggers antiangiogenic responses, and achieves potent antitumor effects. In this work, we evaluated the antisarcoma effect of a high-capacity adenoviral vector encoding mouse IL-12. This vector harbored a mifepristone-inducible system for controlled expression of IL-12 (High-Capacity adenoviral vector enconding the EF1alpha promoter [HCA-EFZP]-IL-12). We found that local administration of the vector resulted in a reduction in the tumor burden, extended overall survival, and tumor eradication. Moreover, long-term survivors exhibited immunological memory when rechallenged with the same tumor cells. Treatment with HCA-EFZP-IL-12 also resulted in a significant decrease in lung metastasis. Immunohistochemical analyses showed profound remodeling of the osteosarcoma microenvironment with decreases in angiogenesis and macrophage and myeloid cell numbers. In summary, our data underscore the potential therapeutic value of IL-12 in the context of a drug-inducible system that allows controlled expression of this cytokine, which can trigger a potent antitumor immune response in primary and metastatic pediatric osteosarcoma.