Several methods such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy have been used to treat cancers. The cancer patients who are not helped by these therapies may be treated by gene therapy. Gene therapy is the insertion of a functional gene into the cells of a patient to correct an inborn error of metabolism, to alter or repair an acquired genetic abnormality, and to provide a new function to a cell.
Two basic types of gene therapy have been applied to humans, germinal and somatic (1). Germinal gene therapy, which introduces transgenic cells into the germ line as well as into the somatic cell population, not only achieve a cure for the individual treated, but some gametes could also carry the corrected genotype. Somatic gene therapy focuses only on the body, or soma, attempting to effect a reversal of the disease phenotype by treating some somatic tissues in the affected individual.
One of the most promising approaches to emerge from the improved understanding of cancer at the molecular level is the possibility of using gene therapy to selectively target and destroy tumor cells, for example, the loss of tumor suppressor genes ...
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9. Hwu, P. Et al. 1993. Functional and Molecular Characterization of Tumor-infiltrating Lymphocytes Transduced with Tumor Necrosis Factor-r cDNA for the Gene Therapy of Cancer in Humans. J. Immunol. 150. p. 4104-4115.
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