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Cancer Gene Ther. 2006 Jan 1;13(1):1-6.

Ionizing radiation: a genetic switch for cancer therapy.

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Department of Surgery, The University of Chicago Hospitals, IL 60637, USA.


Gene therapy of cancer represents a promising but challenging area of therapeutic research. The discovery of radiation-inducible genes led to the concept and development of radiation-targeted gene therapy. In this approach, promoters of radiation-inducible genes are used to drive transcription of transgenes in the response to radiation. Constructs in which the radiation-inducible promoter elements activate a transgene encoding a cytotoxic protein are delivered to tumors by adenoviral vectors. The tumoricidal effects are then localized temporally and spatially by X-rays. We review the conceptual development of TNFerade, an adenoviral vector containing radiation-inducible elements of the early growth response-1 promoter upstream of a cDNA encoding human tumor necrosis factor-alpha. We also summarize the preclinical work and clinical trials utilizing this vector as a treatment for diverse solid tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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