Thérapie génique de l'angiogenèse tumorale ciblée par des cellules endothéliales immatures

Abstract : Vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) are over-expressed upon hypoxia in solid tumors. Major actors directing pathologic neo-vascularisation, they regulate the stromal reaction. Novel strategies that target and inhibit VEGF bring promise to modern anti-cancer therapies. They aim to control rather than destroy tumor angiogenesis. Consequently, the challenge is to selectively trap VEGFs, over-produced upon hypoxia, in the tumor microenvironment. The thesis presented in this manuscript focuses on the design of a novel cell-based targeting strategy, so-called “Trojan Horse”, combining in the same engineered entity, a targeting unit and a specific drug/gene delivery system. Aiming to address the therapy to cancer cells without affecting healthy cells, a model of endothelial precursor cell (EPCs) was used as targeting cell able to reach specifically the tumor site. EPCs were “armed” to express a therapeutic gene to inhibit VEGF. Trapping was attempted based on the production of a soluble form of the VEGF receptor-2 (sVEGFR2) as a candidate inhibitor. Hypoxia, a hallmark of developing solid tumors, was chosen to turn on/off the sVEGFR2 expression and secretion by introducing, upstream of the therapeutic gene, a hypoxia response element (HRE) regulating sequence. Properly addressed by the EPCs to the tumor site, such angiogenesis regulator as the soluble form of VEGFR2 is, was chosen to be expressed in a hypoxia-conditioned and reversible manner. This opens new strategies for a stably controlled normalization of tumor vessels in view of adjuvant design for combined therapies.
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Guillaume Collet. Thérapie génique de l'angiogenèse tumorale ciblée par des cellules endothéliales immatures. Sciences agricoles. Université d'Orléans, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012ORLE2068⟩. ⟨tel-00843646⟩

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