Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Cancer Gene Therapy and its techniques in Cancer Biology

Shubhjeet Mandal, Piyush Kumar Tiwari, Anees Mohd, Anchal Deshwal


The researches conducted over the past two decades, in the field of human genomics has indicated that cancer in the genome is caused by somatic aberration. This discovery has sparked excitement in cancer researchers. Most people are now using genetic engineering therapeutic methods for advance malignancy treatment or discover a possible therapy of this infection. The field of gene therapy provides a range of groundbreaking therapies which can be significant for the prevention of deaths from cancer. In immunotherapy, genetically engineered cell and virus vectors are typically used to stimulate the immune system and destroy the infected cells.  Recent trials of the new generation vaccines with a broad range of cancers have shown encouraging results. Oncolytic virotherapy which is a new method of treatment that shows a great deal of scope and chance, especially with metastatic cancers that uses viral vectors that repeat cancer-infected cells to cause cell death. A new approach to treatment by inserting fresh gene into tumorous cell tissues is the gene transfer technique that causes cell death or reduces cancer growing.  Such therapies may be used as a standalone therapy or in conjunction with present treatments as they develop to make cancer a curable disease. It is expected to show a significant part in potential tumor treatment with other types of malignancy treatment, like radiation therapy, surgery and chemotherapy, as part of a multimodality procedure.


Gene Therapy, Cancer, AdenoVirus Vectors, Viral Therapy, Immunotherapy, Tumor Therapy, Cancer Therapy Methods

Full Text:



Dulbecco R: A turning point in cancer research: sequencing the human genome. Science (New York, NY) 1986, 231(4742):1055–1057.

Strachan T, Read A: Gene therapy and other molecular genetic-based therapeutic approaches. In Human Molecular Genetics. 2nd edition. Pp. 576, New York: Wiley-Liss; 1999.

Miller AD: Retroviral vectors. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 1992, 158,1–24. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Weichselbaum, R.R. and Kufe, D., 1997. Gene therapy of cancer. The Lancet, 349, pp.S10-S12.

DeVita VT Jr, Rosenberg SA: Two hundred years of cancer research. N Engl J Med 2012, 366(23):2207–2214.

Curie P, Curie M, Bémont G: On a new, strongly radioactive substance contained in pitchblende. CR (East Lansing, Mich) 1898, 127:1215–1217.

Lage H: Bacterial delivery of RNAi effectors. In Gene Therapy of Cancer. 3rd edition. Edited by Lattime EC, Gerson SL. San Diego (CA): Elsevier; 2013:67–75.

Goodman LS, Wintrobe MM, Dameshek W, Goodman MJ, Gilman A, McLennan MT: Landmark article Sept. 21, 1946: nitrogen mustard therapy: use of methyl-bis(beta-chloroethyl)amine hydrochloride and tris(beta-chloroethyl)amine hydrochloride for Hodgkin's disease, lymphosarcoma, leukemia and certain allied and miscellaneous disorders by Louis S. Goodman, Maxwell M. Wintrobe, William Dameshek, Morton J. Goodman, Alfred Gilman and Margaret T. McLennan. JAMA 1984, 251(17):2255–2261.

Farber S, Diamond LK: Temporary remissions in acute leukemia in children produced by folic acid antagonist, 4-aminopteroyl-glutamic acid. N Engl J Med 1948, 238(23):787–793.

Hemminki O, Hemminki A: Oncolytic adenoviruses in the treatment of cancer in humans. In Gene Therapy of Cancer. 3rd edition. Edited by Lattime EC, Gerson SL. San Diego (CA): Elsevier; 2013:153–170.

Kelly E, Russell SJ: History of oncolytic viruses: genesis to genetic engineering. Mol Ther 2007, 15(4):651–659.

Maloney, D.G., Grillo-López, A.J., White, C.A., Bodkin, D., Schilder, R.J., Neidhart, J.A., Janakiraman, N., Foon, K.A., Liles, T.M., Dallaire, B.K. and Wey, K., 1997. IDEC-C2B8 (Rituximab) anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody therapy in patients with relapsed low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Blood, The Journal of the American Society of Hematology, 90(6), pp.2188–2195.

Sheridan C: Gene therapy finds its niche. Nat Biotechnol 2011, 29(2):121–128.

Chiocca EA, Abbed KM et al. A phase I open-label, dose-escalation, multi-institutional trial of injection with an E1B-Attenuated adenovirus, ONYX-015, into the peritumoral region of recurrent malignant gliomas, in the adjuvant setting. Mol Ther 2004, 10(5):958–966.

Block SL, Nolan T et al. Comparison of the immunogenicity and reactogenicity of a prophylactic quadrivalent human papillomavirus (types 6, 11, 16, and 18) L1 virus-like particle vaccine in male and female adolescents and young adult women. Pediatrics, 118(5), pp.2135–2145.

Kantoff PW, Schuetz TJ et al. Overall survival analysis of a phase II randomized controlled trial of a Poxviral-based PSA-targeted immunotherapy in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. J Clin Oncol 2010, 28(7):1099–1105.

What is Gene Therapy? 2018. Approved Cellular and Gene Therapy Products, FDA.

Peng Z. Current status of gendicine in China: recombinant human Ad-p53 agent for treatment of cancers. Hum Gene Ther. 2005;16(9),1016–1027.

Hu X, Ma Q, Zhang S. Biopharmaceuticals in China. Biotechnol J. 2006;1(11),1215–1224.

Hoggatt J. Gene Therapy for “Bubble Boy” Disease. Cell. 2016;166(2),263.

Harrington KJ, et al. Efficacy and safety of talimogene laherparepvec versus granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor in patients with stage IIIB/C and IVM1a melanoma: subanalysis of the Phase III OPTiM trial. Onco Targets Ther. 2016;9:7081–7093.

Toy W, Shen Y et al. ESR1 ligand-binding domain mutations in hormone-resistant breast cancer. Nat Genet 2013, 45(12):1439–1445.

Koboldt DC, Fulton RS et al. Comprehensive molecular portraits of human breast tumours. Nature 2012, 490(7418):61–70.

Shirley S, Heller R, Heller L: Electroporation gene therapy. In Gene Therapy of Cancer. 3rd edition. Edited by Lattime EC, Gerson SL. San Diego (CA): Elsevier; 2013:93–106.

Baranyi L, Slepushkin V, Dropulic B: Ex vivo gene therapy: utilization of genetic vectors for the generation of genetically modified cell products for therapy. In Gene Therapy of Cancer. 3rd edition. Edited by Lattime EC, Gerson SL. San Diego (CA): Elsevier; 2013:3–18.

Yuan Z, Pastoriza J, Quinn T, Libutti S: Targeting tumor vasculature using adeno-associated virus page vector coding tumor necrosis factor-a. In Gene Therapy of Cancer. 3rd edition. Edited by Lattime EC, Gerson SL. San Diego (CA): Elsevier; 2013:19–33.

Zabner J, Fasbender AJ et al. Cellular and molecular barriers to gene transfer by a cationic lipid. J Biol Chem 1995, 270(32):18997–19007.

Tagami T, Suzuki T, Matsunaga M, Nakamura K, Moriyoshi N, Ishida T, Kiwada H: Anti-angiogenic therapy via cationic liposome-mediated systemic siRNA delivery. Int J Pharm 2012, 422(1–2):280–289.

Yang W, Sun T, Cao J, Liu F: Survivin downregulation by siRNA/cationic liposome complex radiosensitises human hepatoma cells in vitro and in vivo. Int J Radiat Biol 2010, 86(6):445–457.

Wagner E, Plank C, Zatloukal K, Cotten M, Birnstiel ML: Influenza virus hemagglutinin HA-2 N-terminal fusogenic peptides augment gene transfer by transferrin-polylysine-DNA complexes: toward a synthetic virus-like gene-transfer vehicle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1992, 89(17):7934–7938.

Soltani F, Sankian M, Hatefi A, Ramezani M: Development of a novel histone H1-based recombinant fusion peptide for targeted non-viral gene delivery. Int J Pharm 2013, 441(1–2):307–315.

Di Martino MT, Leone E et al. Synthetic miR-34a mimics as a novel therapeutic agent for multiple myeloma: in vitro and in vivo evidence. Clin Cancer Res 2012,


Soliman M, Nasanit R et al. Multicomponent synthetic polymers with viral-mimetic chemistry for nucleic acid delivery. Mol Pharm 2012, 9(1):1–13.

Nie Y, Schaffert D, Rodl W, Ogris M, Wagner E, Gunther M: Dual-targeted polyplexes: one step towards a synthetic virus for cancer gene therapy. J Control Release 2011, 152(1):127–134.

Hackett PB, Largaespada DA, Switzer KC, Cooper LJ: Evaluating risks of insertional mutagenesis by DNA transposons in gene therapy. Transl Res 2013, 161(4):265–283.

Kwon S, Min J: Genetically engineered Salmonella typhimurium for targeted cancer therapy. In Gene Therapy of Cancer. 3rd edition. Edited by Lattime EC, Gerson SL. San Diego (CA): Elsevier; 2013:443–452.

Benoit MR, Mayer D et al. Visualizing implanted tumors in mice with magnetic resonance imaging using magnetotactic bacteria. Clin Cancer Res 2009, 15(16):5170–5177.

Baban CK, Cronin M, O'Hanlon D, O'Sullivan GC, Tangney M: Bacteria as vectors for gene therapy of cancer. Bioeng Bugs 2010, 1(6):385–394.

Thomas CE, Ehrhardt A, Kay MA: Progress and problems with the use of viral vectors for gene therapy. Nat Rev Genet 2003, 4(5):346–358.

Kuroda S, Kagawa S, Fujiwara T: Selectively replicating oncolytic adenoviruses combined with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or molecular targeted therapy for treatment of human cancers. In Gene Therapy of Cancer. 3rd edition. Edited by Lattime EC, Gerson SL. San Diego (CA): Elsevier; 2013:171–183.

Wu E, Nemerow GR: Virus yoga: the role of flexibility in virus host cell recognition. Trends Microbiol 2004, 12(4):162–169.

Mathis JM, Stoff-Khalili MA, Curiel DT: Oncolytic adenoviruses – selective retargeting to tumor cells. Oncogene 2005, 24(52):7775–7791.

Zemp FJ, Corredor JC, Lun X, Muruve DA, Forsyth PA: Oncolytic viruses as experimental treatments for malignant gliomas: using a scourge to treat a devil. Cytokine Growth Factor Rev 2010, 21(2–3):103–117.

Balvers R, Gomez-Manzano C et al..: Advances on oncolytic virotherapy for brain tumors. In Gene Therapy of Cancer. 3rd edition. Edited by Lattime EC, Gerson SL. San Diego (CA): Elsevier; 2013:137–151.

Kaliberova LN, Krendelchtchikova V et al..: CRAdRGDflt-IL24 virotherapy in combination with chemotherapy of experimental glioma. Cancer Gene Ther 2009, 16(10):794–805.

Nuesch JP, Lacroix J, Marchini A, Rommelaere J: Molecular pathways: rodent parvoviruses–mechanisms of oncolysis and prospects for clinical cancer treatment. Clin Cancer Res 2012, 18(13):3516–3523.

White, E., Bienemann, A., Megraw, L., Bunnun, C. and Gill, S., 2011. Evaluation and optimization of the administration of a selectively replicating herpes simplex viral vector to the brain by convection-enhanced delivery. Cancer gene therapy, 18(5), pp.358–369.

Sharp PM: Origins of human virus diversity. Cell 2002, 108(3):305–312.

Hu JC, Coffin RS et al..: A phase I study of OncoVEXGM-CSF, a second-generation oncolytic herpes simplex virus expressing granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Clin Cancer Res 2006, 12(22):6737–6747.

Liu TC, Zhang T et al..: Dominant-negative fibroblast growth factor receptor expression enhances antitumoral potency of oncolytic herpes simplex virus in neural tumors. Clin Cancer Res 2006, 12(22):6791–6799.



  • There are currently no refbacks.