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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 17--26

Genetic therapy in gliomas: Historical analysis and future perspectives

Department of Neurosurgery, Sao Paulo Medical School, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Tobias Alecio Mattei
Rua Capote Valente 725, ap. 302, CEP 05409-002, Sao Paulo - SP
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.15046

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High-grade gliomas are relatively frequent in adults, and consist of the most malignant kind of primary brain tumor. Being resistant to standard treatment modalities such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, it is fatal within 1 to 2 years of onset of symptoms. Although several gene therapy systems proved to be efficient in controlling or eradicating these tumors in animal models, the clinical studies performed so far were not equally successful. Most clinical studies showed that methodologies that increase tumor infection/transduction and, consequently confer more permanent activity against the tumor, will lead to enhanced therapeutic results. Due to the promising practical clinical benefits that can be expected for the near future, an exposition to the practicing neurosurgeon about the basic issues in genetic therapy of gliomas seems convenient. Among the main topics, we shall discuss anti-tumoral mechanisms of various genes that can be transfected, the advantages and drawbacks of the different vectors utilized, the possibilities of tumor targeting by modifications in the native tropism of virus vectors, as well as the different physical methods for vector delivery to the tumors. Along with the exposition we will also review of the history of the genetic therapy for gliomas, with special focus on the main problems found during the advancement of scientific discoveries in this area. A general analysis is also made of the present state of this promising therapeutic modality, with reference to the problems that still must be solved and the new paradigms for future research in this area.


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Online since 20th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow