Conditional gene targeting for cancer gene therapy

Yosef S. Haviv, David T. Curiel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Current treatment of solid tumors is limited by severe adverse effects, resulting in a narrow therapeutic index. Therefore, cancer gene therapy has emerged as a targeted approach that would significantly reduce undesired side effects in normal tissues. This approach requires a clear understanding of the molecular biology of both the malignant clone and the biological vectors that serve as vehicles to target cancer cells. In this review we discuss novel approaches for conditional gene expression in cancer cells. Targeting transgene expression to malignant tissues requires the use of specific regulatory elements including promoters based on tumor biology, tissue-specific promoters and inducible regulatory elements. We also discuss the regulation of both replication and transgene expression by conditionally-replicative viruses. These approaches have the potential to restrict the expression of transgenes exclusively to tissues of interest and thereby to increase the therapeutic index of future vectors for cancer gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-154
Number of pages20
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - 17 Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer gene therapy
  • Gene expression
  • Regulatory elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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