Ultrasound (US) is an effective tool for local delivery of genes into target tumors or organs. In combination with microbubbles, US can temporarily change the permeability of cell membranes by cavitation and facilitate entry of plasmid DNA into cells. Here, we demonstrate that repeated US-mediated delivery of anti-angiogenic genes, endostatin or calreticulin, into muscle significantly inhibits the growth of orthotopic tumors in the liver, brain or lung. US-mediated anti-angiogenic gene therapy also seems to function as an adjuvant therapy that significantly enhances the antitumor effects of the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin and adenovirus-mediated cytokine gene therapy. Significantly higher levels of tumor apoptosis or tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were observed after combined therapy consisting of either anti-angiogenic therapy and chemotherapy, or anti-angiogenic therapy and immunotherapy. Taken together, our experiments demonstrate that intramuscular delivery of anti-angiogenic genes by US exposure can effectively treat distant orthotopic tumors, and thus has great therapeutic potential in terms of clinical treatment.
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