Gene therapy for cancer: Promises or reality?

Haema 2016; 7(1): 92-99

by Elena K. Siapati1, Konstantina Vaitsi1, George Vassilopoulos1,2

1Gene Therapy Laboratory, Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA),
2Haematology Clinic, Medical School, University of Thessaly, Greece

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Research on gene therapy for cancer had set high standards over the past 20 years but has essentially delivered very little. Since cancer is an acquired genetic disorder, gene therapy can accommodate individual genetic variability, thereby minimizing the toxicities achieved with generic drugs. In this review we present the strategies employed for the gene therapy of cancer, the obstacles and ways around them. Recent technological advances in the field indicate that gene transfer could finally entail a powerful approach for the development of safe and efficacious treatment of cancer.