Suicide Gene Therapy against Cancer*Corresponding Author: Claudius Conrad, Assistant Professor of Surgery, The University of Texas MD, Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Surgical Oncology, Houston, TX, 77030, USA, Tel: (713) 792-1502, Fax: (713) 745-1921, Email: [email protected]
Received Date: May 31, 2013 / Accepted Date: Sep 30, 2013 / Published Date: Oct 10, 2013
Citation: Rajab K, Nelson P, Keung EZ, Conrad C (2013) Suicide Gene Therapy against Cancer. J Genet Syndr Gene Ther 4:187.DOI: 10.4172/2157-7412.1000187
Copyright: © 2013 . This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
A major limitation of conventional chemotherapies used in cancer treatments today are low therapeutic indices and side effects that result from drug effects on normal tissues (off target). One of the most innovative approaches to developing antineoplastic agents with increased tumor selectivity is the use of suicide gene therapy. Suicide gene therapy involves delivering a gene product in proximity to the targeted cancer tissue through various targeted delivery methods followed by tissue/tumor-specific expression of the gene product which then converts a systemically available pro-drug into an active drug within the tumor locale. Here we summarize the concept of gene therapy for cancer and introduce the most frequently used suicide gene therapy systems. In addition we discuss viral, molecular and cellular vectors and their advantages and disadvantages. Finally, we describe the clinical applications, limitations and potential side effects of suicide gene therapy to date.