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Biomedicines 2014, 2(2), 149-162;

Gene Therapy Used in Cancer Treatment

Virtanen Institute, Department of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Neulaniementie 2, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
Research Unit and Gene Therapy Unit, Kuopio University Hospital, 70210 Kuopio, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 January 2014 / Revised: 12 March 2014 / Accepted: 18 March 2014 / Published: 8 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Therapy Used in Cancer Treatment)
Full-Text   |   PDF [210 KB, uploaded 8 April 2014]


Cancer has been, from the beginning, a target of intense research for gene therapy approaches. Currently, more than 60% of all on-going clinical gene therapy trials worldwide are targeting cancer. Indeed, there is a clear unmet medical need for novel therapies. This is further urged by the fact that current conventional cancer therapies are frequently troubled by their toxicities. Different gene therapy strategies have been employed for cancer, such as pro-drug activating suicide gene therapy, anti-angiogenic gene therapy, oncolytic virotherapy, gene therapy-based immune modulation, correction/compensation of gene defects, genetic manipulation of apoptotic and tumor invasion pathways, antisense, and RNAi strategies. Cancer types, which have been targeted with gene therapy, include brain, lung, breast, pancreatic, liver, colorectal, prostate, bladder, head and neck, skin, ovarian, and renal cancer. Currently, two cancer gene therapy products have received market approval, both of which are in China. In addition, the stimulation of the host’s immune system, using gene therapeutic approaches, has gained vast interest. The intention of this review is to point out the most commonly viral and non-viral vectors and methods used in cancer gene therapy, as well as highlight some key results achieved in clinical trials. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer; glioma; gene therapy; gene transfer; viral vectors; non-viral vectors; safety; clinical trials cancer; glioma; gene therapy; gene transfer; viral vectors; non-viral vectors; safety; clinical trials
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Wirth, T.; Ylä-Herttuala, S. Gene Therapy Used in Cancer Treatment. Biomedicines 2014, 2, 149-162.

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