In situ gene therapy for prostate cancer: immunomodulatory approaches

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2001 May;1(3):481-95. doi: 10.1517/14712598.1.3.481.


The development of effective treatments for prostate cancer is thwarted by the natural history of the disease. The biological and clinical potential of most individual cancers is uncertain. In many cases the disease will not progress to clinical significance but experimental and clinical studies indicate that prostate cancer can and may metastasis early in the course of the disease from relatively small foci (i.e., not necessarily the largest or index cancer). Localised prostate cancer is potentially curable with localised therapies (radical prostatectomy or irradiation therapy). However, there are no curative therapies for metastatic prostate cancer. Gene therapy, especially those approaches with an immunomodulatory component, may provide additional therapeutic options with the potential to affect both localised and systemic disease. We have pioneered the development and application of in situ gene therapy protocols using adenoviral vectors to transduce specific genes that generate cytotoxic activity and/or a systemic antitumour immune response. In addition we have completed initial studies that demonstrate the therapeutic potential of adenoviral vector-mediated gene modified cell-based vaccines. Our review discusses preclinical studies focused on the development of immunostimulatory in situ gene therapy approaches that hopefully will provide novel and effective treatments for localised and metastatic prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / secondary
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*