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      Progress and problems with the use of suicide genes for targeted cancer therapy

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      Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews
      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          Among various gene therapy methods for cancer, suicide gene therapy attracts a special attention because it allows selective conversion of non-toxic compounds into cytotoxic drugs inside cancer cells. As a result, therapeutic index can be increased significantly by introducing high concentrations of cytotoxic molecules to the tumor environment while minimizing impact on normal tissues. Despite significant success at the preclinical level, no cancer suicide gene therapy protocol has delivered the desirable clinical significance yet. This review gives a critical look at the six main enzyme/prodrug systems that are used in suicide gene therapy of cancer and familiarizes readers with the state-of-the-art research and practices in this field. For each enzyme/prodrug system, the mechanisms of action, protein engineering strategies to enhance enzyme stability/affinity and chemical modification techniques to increase prodrug kinetics and potency are discussed. In each category, major clinical trials that have been performed in the past decade with each enzyme/prodrug system are discussed to highlight the progress to date. Finally, shortcomings are underlined and areas that need improvement in order to produce clinical significance are delineated.

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          Progress and problems with the use of viral vectors for gene therapy.

          Gene therapy has a history of controversy. Encouraging results are starting to emerge from the clinic, but questions are still being asked about the safety of this new molecular medicine. With the development of a leukaemia-like syndrome in two of the small number of patients that have been cured of a disease by gene therapy, it is timely to contemplate how far this technology has come, and how far it still has to go.
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            Drug targeting to tumors: principles, pitfalls and (pre-) clinical progress.

            Many different systems and strategies have been evaluated for drug targeting to tumors over the years. Routinely used systems include liposomes, polymers, micelles, nanoparticles and antibodies, and examples of strategies are passive drug targeting, active drug targeting to cancer cells, active drug targeting to endothelial cells and triggered drug delivery. Significant progress has been made in this area of research both at the preclinical and at the clinical level, and a number of (primarily passively tumor-targeted) nanomedicine formulations have been approved for clinical use. Significant progress has also been made with regard to better understanding the (patho-) physiological principles of drug targeting to tumors. This has led to the identification of several important pitfalls in tumor-targeted drug delivery, including I) overinterpretation of the EPR effect; II) poor tumor and tissue penetration of nanomedicines; III) misunderstanding of the potential usefulness of active drug targeting; IV) irrational formulation design, based on materials which are too complex and not broadly applicable; V) insufficient incorporation of nanomedicine formulations in clinically relevant combination regimens; VI) negligence of the notion that the highest medical need relates to metastasis, and not to solid tumor treatment; VII) insufficient integration of non-invasive imaging techniques and theranostics, which could be used to personalize nanomedicine-based therapeutic interventions; and VIII) lack of (efficacy analyses in) proper animal models, which are physiologically more relevant and more predictive for the clinical situation. These insights strongly suggest that besides making ever more nanomedicine formulations, future efforts should also address some of the conceptual drawbacks of drug targeting to tumors, and that strategies should be developed to overcome these shortcomings. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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              Chimeric antigen receptors combining 4-1BB and CD28 signaling domains augment PI3kinase/AKT/Bcl-XL activation and CD8+ T cell-mediated tumor eradication.

              To enhance the strength of activation afforded by tumor antigen-specific receptors, we investigated the effect of adding combined CD28 and 4-1BB costimulatory signaling domains to a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) specific for prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). Having transferred receptors encompassing the CD28, 4-1BB, and/or CD3zeta cytoplasmic domains in primary human CD8(+) T cells, we find that the P28BBz receptor, which includes all three signaling domains, is superior to receptors that only include one or two of these domains in promoting cytokine release, in vivo T-cell survival and tumor elimination following intravenous T-cell administration to tumor-bearing severe combined immunodeficient (SCID)/beige mice. Upon in vitro exposure to PSMA, the P28BBZ receptor-induced the strongest PI(3)Kinase/Akt activation and Bcl-X(L) expression, and the least apoptosis in transduced peripheral blood CD8(+) T cells. These findings further support the concept of integrating optimized costimulatory properties into recombinant antigen receptors to augment the survival and function of genetically targeted T cells within the tumor microenvironment.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews
                Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews
                Elsevier BV
                0169409X
                April 2016
                April 2016
                : 99
                :
                : 113-128
                Article
                10.1016/j.addr.2015.05.009
                4758904
                26004498
                8e8b1adb-d0fb-4c4f-875c-3774b171502a
                © 2016

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