Opinion Article, J Clin Exp Onco Vol: 12 Issue: 3
Potential of Gene Therapy and its Mechanisms in the Treatment of Cancer
Received date: 23 May, 2023, Manuscript No. JCEOG -23-104742;
Editor assigned date: 25 May, 2023, PreQC No. JCEOG-23-104742 (PQ);
Reviewed date: 08 June, 2023, QC No. JCEOG- 23-104742;
Revised date: 15 June, 2023, Manuscript No. JCEOG-23-104742 (R);
Published date: 22 June, 2023, DOI: 10.4172/2324-9110.1000353.
Citation: Chein L (2023) Potential of Gene Therapy and its Mechanisms in the Treatment of Cancer. J Clin Exp Oncol 12:3.
Gene therapy, a novel approach, has become an effective substitute in the struggle against cancer. Gene therapy involves the introduction or modification of genetic material into a patient's cells to correct or eradicate disease-causing genetic defects. In the context of cancer, gene therapy focuses on targeting the specific genetic alterations that drive tumor growth and survival. By precisely manipulating the genetic makeup of cancer cells, gene therapy aims to inhibit tumor growth, induce apoptosis (programmed cell death), and enhance the patient's immune response against cancer.
Gene therapy can deliver functional copies of tumor suppressor genes to cancer cells. Tumor suppressor genes play an essential role in regulating cell division and preventing uncontrolled growth. Examples include the p53 gene, which is frequently mutated in various cancers. By restoring the normal function of these genes, gene therapy can halt tumour progression and promote cancer cell death. In some cases, gene therapy aims to silence or inhibit the expression of oncogenes, which are genes that promote cancer development. By employing gene silencing techniques, such as RNA interference (RNAi) or antisense oligonucleotides, analysts can target and block the expression of specific oncogenes. This approach effectively disrupts the signaling pathways that drive cancer growth and proliferation.
Suicide gene therapy involves the introduction of genes that encode enzymes capable of converting non-toxic compounds into toxic substances within cancer cells. For example, the Herpes Simplex Virus Thymidine Kinase (HSV-TK) gene can convert the non-toxic drug ganciclovir into a toxic compound that selectively kills dividing cancer cells. This approach offers localised treatment, as the toxic effect is confined to the targeted cancer cells. Gene therapy can also enhance the patient's immune response against cancer cells. This approach involves modifying immune cells, such as T cells, to express Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) or tumor-specific antigens. These modified cells, known as Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cells or Tumor- Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TILs), can recognise and eliminate cancer cells more effectively, leading to improved tumor regression and patient outcomes.
Despite the enormous potential of gene therapy, several challenges remain to be addressed. Delivery of therapeutic genes to the target cells efficiently and safely is a significant hurdle. Analysts are exploring various viral and non-viral vectors to enhance gene delivery. Additionally, ensuring precise targeting and minimising off-target effects are essential considerations. Furthermore, the cost and scalability of gene therapy need to be addressed to make it more accessible to a broader population. Continued studies, technological advancements, and regulatory support are necessary to overcome these challenges and pave the way for widespread adoption of gene therapy in cancer treatment.
Gene therapy has emerged as a revolutionary approach to the treatment of cancer. By targeting the underlying genetic alterations responsible for tumor growth and survival, gene therapy provides the potential for more effective, personalised, and precise cancer treatment. The mechanisms of gene therapy, such as the restoration of tumor suppressor genes, silencing of oncogenes, suicide gene therapy, and immunomodulation, show major prospects in combating cancer. Although challenges exist, ongoing innovations and advancements in gene delivery systems are bringing us closer to realising the full potential of gene therapy as a transformative tool in cancer treatment.