Future directions

Initial clinical studies indicate that gene therapy for cancer is safe and feasible, but hampered by inefficiency of current gene transfer technology. The precise role for gene therapy in the treatment of cancer may be limited to an adjuvant or palliative role rather than attempting to eliminate bulk disease. It may also serve as an efficient genetic marker or enhance tumour sensitivity to chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Rapid progress in this field has to be tempered by appreciation of potential new toxicities. Transfer of DNA may initiate anti-DNA antibody responses similar to those associated with autoimmune diseases. The use of viral vectors may be associated with insertional muta-genesis and activation of oncogenes leading to neoplasia, antiviral immunity, and propagation of replication-competent viruses.

0 0

Post a comment