alexa Suicide Gene Therapy against Cancer
ISSN: 2157-7412

Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy
Open Access

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Review Article

Suicide Gene Therapy against Cancer

Taufiek K. Rajab2, Peter J. Nelson3, Emily Z Keung1,2 and Claudius Conrad1*

1Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA

2Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

3Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik IV, AG Biochemistry, University of Munich, Munich, Germany

*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
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: May 31, 2013; Accepted date:September 30, 2013; Published date: October 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 Rajab K, et al. 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.


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