Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 189–194

Preferential radiosensitization of 9L glioma cells transduced with HSV-tk gene by acyclovir

  • Sang Hie Kim
  • Jae Ho Kim
  • Andrew Kolozsvary
  • Stephen L. Brown
  • Svend O. Freytag


The antiviral drug acyclovir, an analogue of purine,was found to selectively enhance the radiosensitivity ofrodent tumor cells which were transduced with theherpes simplex virus thymidine kinase gene (HSV-tk). 9Lrat glioma cells transduced with HSV-tk and treatedwith acyclovir (20 μg/ml) for 24 hr beforeor after irradiation were highly sensitive to radiation,as compared with non-transduced glioma cells. When 9Lcells transduced with HSV-tk gene were exposed toacyclovir and radiation, the sensitizer enhancement ratio (SER)was 1.6. In vivo, a significant increase inthe median survival time of rats with 9L-tktumors was observed when acyclovir was administered beforeand after single-dose irradiation, relative to the survivaltime of similar rats receiving radiation alone. Theresults show that an antiviral agent can selectivelyenhance cell killing by radiation in cells transducedwith the HSV-tk, and suggest that the additionof HSV-tk gene therapy to standard radiation therapywill improve the effectiveness of treatment for braintumors.

radiotherapy HSV-tk gene antiviral agents 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sang Hie Kim
    • 1
  • Jae Ho Kim
    • 1
  • Andrew Kolozsvary
    • 1
  • Stephen L. Brown
    • 1
  • Svend O. Freytag
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyHenry Ford HospitalDetroitUSA

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