Drugs & Aging

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 121–132 | Cite as

Potential Applications of Gene Therapy in the Patient with Cancer

  • Piotr W. Szlosarek
  • Angus G. Dalgleish
Review Article


The elderly population has much to gain from the advances of molecular medicine, although at present genetic pharmacology remains mostly at the conceptual level. Cancer, in particular, is an increasing health burden and the majority (over 70%) of gene therapy trials are aimed at tackling this problem. Available strategies employ both viral and synthetic vectors with the selective delivery and expression of therapeutic genes a pivotal requirement. Clinical trials are now in progress with a view to modulating disease at many different levels, including the direct replacement of abnormal genes, suicide-gene formulations, and the delivery of ‘gain of function’ genes, which seek to alter the malignant phenotype by indirect means, such as, immunopotentiation and stromal reorganisation. Early data from these studies is tantalising and we must remain optimistic that gene therapy will benefit the patient with cancer by both reducing morbidity and extending life.


Gene Therapy Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Cytosine Deaminase Gene Therapy Trial Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Promoter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful to S. Todryk for critical review of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Oncology, Thomas Guy HouseGuy’s HospitalLondonEngland
  2. 2.Department of Medical Oncology, Division of Cellular and Molecular SciencesSt George’s Hospital Medical SchoolLondonEngland

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