Special Issue "Gene Therapy and Cancer: Current Developments"

A special issue of Medical Sciences (ISSN 2076-3271). This special issue belongs to the section "Cancer and Cancer-Related Research".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Sibaji Sarkar
Website
Guest Editor
Adj. Professor, Division of Biotechnology, Quincy College, Quincy, MA, USA
Interests: epigenetics/genetics related to gene silencing; imprinting; cancer; progenitor cell formation; cancer progression and metastais; signaling regulating epigenetics events; combination therapy of cancers by HDAC inhibitors and other drugs; integrin signaling related to thrombosis; inhibition of apoptosis and motility in cancer cells; inhibition of syk tyrosine kinase and protease calpain related to platelet clot lysis
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cancer is a complex disease precipitated by diverse mechanisms, as outlined in the Hallmarks of Cancer article. The abnormal states in numerous cancers include inherited genetic modifications and somatic mutations. Additionally, epigenetic modifications of chromatin and DNA methylation significantly regulate initiation and progression of carcinogenesis. Epigenetic alterations are reversible, but the majority of genetic alterations are irreversible. The current accepted treatment confronts these transformed cancer cells or tumors; however, does not perturb the genetic component.

In order to produce a definitive effect, therapies targeting genetic components need to be pursued. The gene therapy field is composed of wide-ranging therapeutic approaches used to correct aberrations produced by genetic alterations, which is often by insertion of normal genes into the cancerous genome to rectify the mistakes produced by the abnormal genes. In addition, rational incorporation of modified chromatin structures changes epigenetic regulations towards favorable outcomes. The last two decades have shown continuous development towards these goals, which are progressively being translated into clinical use. This Special Issue, “Gene Therapy and Cancer: Current Developments”, is designed to include articles that highlight new developments of gene therapy to treat cancer.

Dr. Sibaji Sarkar
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Gene Therapy
  • Cancer
  • Genomics
  • Epigenomics
  • Drug Resistant Cancer
  • Cancer Stem Cells
  • Metastasis

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Novel Somatic Copy Number Alteration Identified for Cervical Cancer in the Mexican American Population
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(3), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci4030012 - 03 Aug 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
Cervical cancer affects millions of Americans, but the rate for cervical cancer in the Mexican American is approximately twice that for non-Mexican Americans. The etiologies of cervical cancer are still not fully understood. A number of somatic mutations, including several copy number alterations [...] Read more.
Cervical cancer affects millions of Americans, but the rate for cervical cancer in the Mexican American is approximately twice that for non-Mexican Americans. The etiologies of cervical cancer are still not fully understood. A number of somatic mutations, including several copy number alterations (CNAs), have been identified in the pathogenesis of cervical carcinomas in non-Mexican Americans. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate CNAs in association with cervical cancer in the Mexican American population. We conducted a pilot study of genome-wide CNA analysis using 2.5 million markers in four diagnostic groups: reference (n = 125), low grade dysplasia (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)-I, n = 4), high grade dysplasia (CIN-II and -III, n = 5) and invasive carcinoma (squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), n = 5) followed by data analyses using Partek. We observed a statistically-significant difference of CNA burden between case and reference groups of different sizes (>100 kb, 10–100 kb and 1–10 kb) of CNAs that included deletions and amplifications, e.g., a statistically-significant difference of >100 kb deletions was observed between the reference (6.6%) and pre-cancer and cancer (91.3%) groups. Recurrent aberrations of 98 CNA regions were also identified in cases only. However, none of the CNAs have an impact on cancer progression. A total of 32 CNA regions identified contained tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes. Moreover, the pathway analysis revealed endometrial cancer and estrogen signaling pathways associated with this cancer (p < 0.05) using Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). This is the first report of CNAs identified for cervical cancer in the U.S. Latino population using high density markers. We are aware of the small sample size in the study. Thus, additional studies with a larger sample are needed to confirm the current findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Therapy and Cancer: Current Developments)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Repurposing Established Compounds to Target Pancreatic Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs)
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci5020014 - 19 Jun 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
The diagnosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) carries a dismal prognosis, in particular, when patients present with unresectable disease. While significant progress has been made in understanding the biology of PDAC, this knowledge has not translated into a clear clinical benefit and current [...] Read more.
The diagnosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) carries a dismal prognosis, in particular, when patients present with unresectable disease. While significant progress has been made in understanding the biology of PDAC, this knowledge has not translated into a clear clinical benefit and current chemotherapeutic strategies only offer a modest improvement in overall survival. Accordingly, novel approaches are desperately needed. One hypothesis that could—at least in part—explain the desolate response of PDAC to chemotherapy is the so-called cancer stem cell (CSC) concept, which attributes specific traits, such as chemoresistance, metastatic potential and a distinct metabolism to a small cellular subpopulation of the whole tumor. At the same time, however, some of these attributes could make CSCs more permissive for novel therapeutic strategies with compounds that are already in clinical use. Most recently, several publications have tried to enlighten the field with the idea of repurposing established drugs for antineoplastic use. As such, recycling drugs could present an intriguing and fast-track method with new therapeutic paradigms in anti-cancer and anti-CSC treatments. Here, we aim to summarize important aspects and novel findings of this emerging field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Therapy and Cancer: Current Developments)
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Open AccessReview
Combination of mTOR and MAPK Inhibitors—A Potential Way to Treat Renal Cell Carcinoma
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(4), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci4040016 - 17 Oct 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common neoplasm that occurs in the kidney and is marked by a unique biology, with a long history of poor response to conventional cancer treatments. In the past few years, there have been significant advancements to [...] Read more.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common neoplasm that occurs in the kidney and is marked by a unique biology, with a long history of poor response to conventional cancer treatments. In the past few years, there have been significant advancements to understand the biology of RCC. This has led to the introduction of novel targeted therapies in the management of patients with metastatic disease. Patients treated with targeted therapies for RCC had shown positive impact on overall survival, however, no cure is possible and patients need to undergo treatment for long periods of time, which raises challenges to manage the associated adverse events. Moreover, many patients may not respond to it and even response may not last long enough in the responders. Many inhibitors of the Mammalian target of Rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway are currently being used in treatment of advanced RCC. Studies showed that inhibitions of mTOR pathways induce Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) escape cell death and cells become resistant to mTOR inhibitors. Because of this, there is a need to inhibit both pathways with their inhibitors comparatively for a better outcome and treatment of patients with RCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Therapy and Cancer: Current Developments)
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