Understanding the biology and treatment of various cancers (including leukemia) and immunodeficiency disorders is still an ongoing and experimental process. Animal models have been and continue to be important to this process. This review will focus in on work by ourselves and others that have used murine models assessing the effects in vivo of the Friend virus complex (FVC, composed of a spleen focus forming virus and a murine leukemia helper virus) and solid tumors with metastatic potential in order to evaluate new and innovative therapies. These therapies include radiation, hyperthermia, and newly recognized naturally occurring biomolecules termed cytokines. These cytokines include, but are not limited to, the interferons, the tumor necrosis factors, the interleukins, the hematopoietic colony stimulating factors, lactoferrin and E-type prostaglandins. For example, it has been found that lactoferrin, when administered early enough, prolongs the survival of mice injected, but not yet infected, with the FVC. Of even greater potential usefulness is that mice already infected with the FVC can be completely rescued from death by treatment with split low dosage (150 cGy) total body irradiation. Irradiation treatment was associated with restoration of the T helper to T suppressor cell ratio, natural killer cell activity and marrow proliferative responses to the mitogens PHA and con A which were compromised by the FVC. More recent studies in our laboratory have demonstrated the potential of the interleukins and colony stimulating factors to decrease the metastatic potential of the B16 melanoma and the Lewis Lung Carcinoma cell lines. The cytokines can act in greater than additive fashion and combinations of therapies are possible. This review is meant to increase the awareness of these investigative animal models and the new types of combination therapies that can then be used as the basis for future clinical trials evaluating therapeutic efficacy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas