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Gene Therapy Approaches for the Selective Killing of Cancer Cells

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This review describes gene therapy strategies that take advantage of defective signal transduction pathways to selectively kill cancer cells without adversely affecting normal cells. The distinctive features of cancer cells currently exploited by gene therapy include mitosis, cell permissiveness to infection, specific protease activity, and the activity of the p53, Rb / E2F and wnt / catenin signal transduction pathways. In most cases, proof of concept has been obtained in vitro and in vivo, but only a few approaches made it to the clinic. Overall, the clinical success rate has been disappointing and it is concluded that the gene therapy of cancer requires more innovation and hard work before its potential can be fully realized.
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Keywords: cancer cells; gene therapy strategies; oncolytic adenoviruses; proliferation; protease activity; susceptibility to infection

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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  • Current Pharmaceutical Design publishes timely in-depth reviews covering all aspects of current research in rational drug design. Each issue is devoted to a single major therapeutic area. A Guest Editor who is an acknowledged authority in a therapeutic field has solicits for each issue comprehensive and timely reviews from leading researchers in the pharmaceutical industry and academia.

    Each thematic issue of Current Pharmaceutical Design covers all subject areas of major importance to modern drug design, including: medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, drug targets and disease mechanism.
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