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Addressing the Challenge: Current and Future Directions in Ovarian Cancer Therapy

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Numerous ovarian gene therapy strategies are in clinical phases based on concepts of replacement/ knock out of deregulated gene, suicide gene strategies, strengthening of the immune response against a tumor, inhibition of tumor angiogenesis and growth factors. Non-viral delivery systems have potential advantages over currently widely used viral vectors and other classical vectors for delivering therapeutic gene of interest. The present review provides a comprehensive overview of potential of various delivery systems currently in use. Non-viral formulations used in ovarian gene therapy include injecting naked DNA, liposomes, polyplexes, lipopolyplexes, nanoparticles, gene gun and ultrasound/microbubble mediated gene delivery. In addition to improving vector delivery, the DNA constructs need to be optimised for both efficient and long-term transgene expression. Minicircles using minimal immunological defined gene expression (MIDGE) technology, are a promising future alternative to plasmid for use in non-viral ovarian gene therapy in terms of biosafety, improved gene transfer, potential bioavailability, minimal size and little immune reaction. The review explores the best route of administration for ovarian cancer gene therapy given its peritoneal dissemination which poses a major challenge in treating ovarian cancer patients. Enhancement of therapeutic index can be further achieved by overcoming barriers both at cellular and nuclear levels. Selective tumor targeting with minimal toxicity using folate modified, incorporating nuclear localization signal and PEGylated stealth liposome's represents a popular approach and needs to be exploited in ovarian gene therapy.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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