What are the prospects for gene therapy in cancer treatment?

What are the prospects for gene therapy in cancer treatment?

Dr. Michel Sadelain Discusses the Future of Cancer Gene Therapy

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Answer 1
June, 2021

The broad field of gene therapy promises a range of innovative cancer treatments in the near future that are likely to become important in preventing cancer deaths. A promising future is represented by three different cancer treatments using gene therapy : immunotherapy, oncolytic virotherapy and gene transfer.

Immunotherapy uses genetically modified cells and viral particles to stimulate the immune system to kill cancers cells. Recent clinical trials of second and third generation vaccines abroad have shown encouraging results on a wide range of different types of malignant tumors, including lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and metastatic melanoma.

Oncolytic virotherapy uses viral particles that replicate in a cancer cell to cause its death and represents a new method of gene oncotherapy, showing great promise, especially in metastatic cancer. Clinical trials of several vectors have already shown the high potential power of this method.

Gene transfer is a new method of gene therapy for cancer, in which new genes are introduced into malignant tumor cells and surrounding tissues that cause the death of metastases and slow them down height. This treatment is very flexible and can be used alone or in combination with modern therapies to make cancer a chronic, manageable disease.

Oncolytic virotherapy is not yet a mature technology, but there are many opportunities for improvement vectors of treatment. For virotherapy to be successful, the level of viral particles in infected cancer cells must outpace the growth rate of uninfected cancer cells. The most effective drug delivery method remains to be determined. In preliminary clinical trials, systemic injection required 1000x viral load to achieve results.

The selective nature of virotherapy ensures minimal effects on healthy tissue. In addition, in combination with the expression of cytotoxic genes, this therapy can affect not only rapidly dividing cells, but also surrounding tissues, which makes the microenvironment less favorable for the development of cancer. The combination of the powerful therapeutic potential of these vectors, combined with selectivity, makes them an exceptional cancer-fighting agent.

The field of gene therapy for cancer is rapidly evolving and will no doubt be part of future cancer treatments. Several very effective treatments for advanced cancers have been made possible by the advent of genetic engineering. In addition, gene transfer technology for cancer treatment holds great promise for enhancing the effectiveness of existing regimens and protocols for systemic chemotherapy. Here's what they write about the prospects for gene therapy medicaltourisrael.com

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