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World J Gastroenterol. Jan 21, 2006; 12(3): 380-387
Published online Jan 21, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i3.380
Gene therapy for gastric cancer: Is it promising?
Andreas P Sutter, Henry Fechner
Andreas P Sutter, Henry Fechner, Department of Gastroenterology/Infectious Diseases/Rheumatology and Department of Cardiology and Pneumology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12200 Berlin, Germany
Correspondence to: Dr. Andreas Sutter, Schering AG, Experimental Toxicology, Müllerstr. 178, 13342 Berlin, Germany.
Telephone: +49-30-468-18761 Fax: +49-30-468-15091
Received: June 22, 2005
Revised: June 28, 2005
Accepted: July 30, 2005
Published online: January 21, 2006

Gastric cancer is one of the most common tumors worldwide. The therapeutic outcome of conventional therapies is inefficient. Thus, new therapeutic strategies are urgently needed. Gene therapy is a promising molecular alternative in the treatment of gastric cancer, including the replacement of defective tumor suppressor genes, the inactivation of oncogenes, the introduction of suicide genes, genetic immunotherapy, anti-angiogenetic gene therapy, and virotherapy. Improved molecular biological techniques and a better understanding of gastric carcinogenesis have allowed us to validate a variety of genes as molecular targets for gene therapy. This review provides an update of the new developments in cancer gene therapy, new principles, techniques, strategies and vector systems, and shows how they may be applied in the treatment of gastric cancer.

Keywords: Gene therapy, Gastric cancer, Virotherapy