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Curr Opin Mol Ther. 2000 Aug;2(4):433-40.

Developments in suicide genes for preclinical and clinical applications.

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  • 1Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Immunology, One Baylor Plaza/M929, Houston, TX 77030, USA. dspencer@bcm.tmc.edu


The graduation of gene therapy from unfulfilled dreams to conventional therapy for genetic and acquired disorders will require a mastery of multiple disparate components including gene delivery vectors, regulated tissue-specific gene expression, control of immunity and manipulation of cell viability. Improvements in suicide genes have opened up a whole new treatment modality for treating hyperproliferative disorders and for designing animal models for disease. Along with herpes simplex virus-1 thymidine kinase, a host of additional suicide genes have been developed. A critical comparison of these will follow along with progress in utilizing these reagents for therapeutic benefits.

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