Cooper, Richard K.; Enright, Frederick M.
Date Posted: 11/15/2000
Patent Status: issued
Patent Number: 5,556,782 Abstract:
Novel means have been discovered for increasing the resistance of a mammalian host (including humans) to diseases caused by intracellular bacteria, protozoa and viruses. Novel means have also been found for treating tumors. Augmentation of the host's defenses against infectious diseases or tumors is achieved by "arming" the host's cells with a gene encoding the lytic peptide cecropin B. The host's own leukocytes, other cells involved in resistance to infection or other cells are transformed, and expression of the gene is induced when needed to combat pathogens. Transfection of hematopoietic stem cells with the cecropin B gene will enhance disease resistance in mammals, and transfection of TIL (tumor infiltrating lymphocytes) cells or other cells can be used in the treatment of tumors. The transformed cells have the ability to produce and secrete a broad-spectrum chemotherapeutic agent, which has a systemic effect on certain pathogens, particularly pathogens that might otherwise evade or overcome host defenses. The peptide's expression is preferably induced only in areas of infection, where it will most effectively augment the host's defense systems. Expression of the exogenous gene does not damage a healthy recipient cell.