Objective: To provide the obstetrician-gynecologist with the basic concepts of gene therapy, an overview of cancer gene therapy treatment strategies, and a summary of currently approved human gene therapy protocols for ovarian carcinoma.
Data sources: A computerized search of articles published through December 1995 was performed on the MEDLINE data base. Additional sources were identified through cross-referencing.
Methods of study selection: All identified references were reviewed with particular attention to their relevance to gene therapy for ovarian cancer.
Tabulation, integration, and results: Each reference was reviewed to determine the relevant contribution to the fundamental science of gene therapy. Particular attention was paid to those studies that offered a rational strategy that might contribute to therapy for ovarian malignancy.
Conclusion: Advances in molecular biology, immunology, and virology have enabled the concept of gene therapy for neoplastic disorders to become a reality. Given the lack of effective conventional therapy, those patients with recurrent or refractory ovarian cancer should be considered for currently approved investigational gene therapy protocols.