Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 2, Issue 6, pp 542–549

Recombinant BCG therapy suppresses melanoma tumor growth


  • Rosemary B. Duda
    • Division of Surgical OncologyBeth Israel Hospital
  • Hua Yang
    • Division of Surgical OncologyBeth Israel Hospital
  • Danielle D. Dooley
  • Graziella Abu-Jawdeh
    • Department of PathologyBeth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF02307089

Cite this article as:
Duda, R.B., Yang, H., Dooley, D.D. et al. Annals of Surgical Oncology (1995) 2: 542. doi:10.1007/BF02307089


Background: Melanoma is the fastest rising cancer in the United States. Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) has been genetically engineered to actively express and secrete the cytokine interleukin-2 (IL-2). Both BCG and IL-2 have known potent antitumor and immunomodulatory properties.

Methods: This recombinant BCG (rBCG 3A) has been tested as an intratumoral injection and a vaccine therapy in conjunction with irradiated tumor cells against melanoma in the murine B16 melanoma model.

Results: The transfection process did not adversely after the function of the wild-type (WT) BCG. rBCG 3A and WT BCG are equally effective intratumoral and vaccine therapies against melanoma when compared with normal saline control groups. Tumor burdens were significantly smaller (p</0.01 and 0.05) for the treatment groups for both intratumoral and vaccine administration of therapy. Immunization with rBCG 3A and WT BCG 14 days before a B16 challenge resulted in an ∼45% smaller tumor burden when compared with controls.

Conclusions: Novel therapies based on the immunogenic properties of melanoma combined with molecular technologies may offer promise for an effective and safe treatment of melanoma.

Key Words

MelanomaVaccineBCGImmunotherapyGene transferCytokines

Copyright information

© The Society of Surgical Oncology, Inc 1995