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Front Oncol. 2012 Nov 19;2:172. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2012.00172. eCollection 2012.

Progress in gene therapy for prostate cancer.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN, USA.


Gene therapy has held promise to correct various disease processes. Prostate cancer represents the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. A number of clinical trials involving gene therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer have been reported. The ability to efficiently transduce tumors with effective levels of therapeutic genes has been identified as a fundamental barrier to effective cancer gene therapy. The approach utilizing gene therapy in prostate cancer patients at our institution attempts to address this deficiency. The sodium-iodide symporter (NIS) is responsible for the ability of the thyroid gland to transport and concentrate iodide. The characteristics of the NIS gene suggest that it could represent an ideal therapeutic gene for cancer therapy. Published results from Mayo Clinic researchers have indicated several important successes with the use of the NIS gene and prostate gene therapy. Studies have demonstrated that transfer of the human NIS gene into prostate cancer using adenovirus vectors in vitro and in vivo results in efficient uptake of radioactive iodine and significant tumor growth delay with prolongation of survival. Preclinical successes have culminated in the opening of a phase I trial for patients with advanced prostate disease which is currently accruing patients. Further study will reveal the clinical promise of NIS gene therapy in the treatment of prostate as well as other malignancies.


gene therapy; prostate cancer; sodium-iodide symporter

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