Potential roles of antisense oligonucleotides in cancer therapy. The example of Bcl-2 antisense oligonucleotides

Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2002 Nov;54(3):263-9. doi: 10.1016/s0939-6411(02)00060-7.


Antisense oligonucleotides have been widely used to specifically and selectively downregulate gene expression at the messenger RNA level. Even though oligonucleotides are commonly used in laboratories and clinical trials, they can induce non-specific effects that can lead to misinterpretation of experimentally-derived results. This review summarizes precautions one should take when using oligonucleotides. In addition, the role of one oligonucleotide, G3139, which is targeted to the coding region of bcl-2 messenger RNA, in inhibiting tumor progression in vitro and in clinical trials, is described.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / pharmacology
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / therapeutic use*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / pharmacology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / therapeutic use*


  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2