Gene therapy for gastrointestinal tract cancer: a review

D A Heideman, W R Gerritsen, M E Craanen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Carcinomas of the gastrointestinal tract count as one of the most common causes of cancer-related death in the world. Despite improvement of conventional treatment modalities, the prognosis of patients with gastrointestinal tract cancer remains poor. Progress in understanding the molecular mechanism of gastrointestinal carcinogenesis may facilitate development of gene therapy strategies for the treatment of gastrointestinal tumors. This review describes new developments in vectors (tools for gene transfer) for gene therapy, possible therapeutic genes and the early clinical results of gastrointestinal tract cancer gene therapy. Results of current preclinical studies are promising for the future clinical application of gene therapy for gastrointestinal cancer. The first clinical trials have been initiated recently, the preliminary results reflecting low toxicity and clinical responses. Further clinical studies will be required to confirm the feasibility of gene therapy in the treatment of gastrointestinal cancer. In future, the greatest potential will probably lie in the field of combination strategies of gene therapy and existing treatment modalities, such as surgery combined with molecular chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian journal of gastroenterology. Supplement
Issue number232
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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