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Current status of gene therapy for breast cancer: progress and challenges

Authors McCrudden CM, McCarthy H

Received 16 June 2014

Accepted for publication 9 August 2014

Published 10 November 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 209—220

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/TACG.S54992

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Martin H. Maurer


Cian M McCrudden, Helen O McCarthy

School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK

Abstract: Breast cancer is characterized by a series of genetic mutations and is therefore ideally placed for gene therapy intervention. The aim of gene therapy is to deliver a nucleic acid-based drug to either correct or destroy the cells harboring the genetic aberration. More recently, cancer gene therapy has evolved to also encompass delivery of RNA interference technologies, as well as cancer DNA vaccines. However, the bottleneck in creating such nucleic acid pharmaceuticals lies in the delivery. Deliverability of DNA is limited as it is prone to circulating nucleases; therefore, numerous strategies have been employed to aid with biological transport. This review will discuss some of the viral and nonviral approaches to breast cancer gene therapy, and present the findings of clinical trials of these therapies in breast cancer patients. Also detailed are some of the most recent developments in nonviral approaches to targeting in breast cancer gene therapy, including transcriptional control, and the development of recombinant, multifunctional bio-inspired systems. Lastly, DNA vaccines for breast cancer are documented, with comment on requirements for successful pharmaceutical product development.

Keywords: breast cancer, gene therapy, nonviral, clinical trial

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