Androgen ablation is the choice of treatment for patients with advanced prostate cancer. Although untreated tumors are mostly androgen-dependent, hormone withdrawal is only palliative. The major problem in prostate cancer treatment represents the progression to androgen-independent growth during therapy, rendering current strategies inefficient. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop novel treatments to combat therapy-resistant prostate cancer. Intensive research strongly improved the knowledge about the molecular changes, which are believed to occur during prostate carcinogenesis and progression to androgen-independence. This in turn led to the identification of several interesting genes, which may be useful as targets for prostate cancer gene therapy. In fact, there is a broad range of different gene therapy approaches in the field of prostate cancer, some of which have already progressed to clinical evaluation in patients. Promising data and best benefit for patients currently provide studies where gene therapy strategies are combined with conventional treatments like chemotherapy or radiation. In this review we will give an overview of several interesting gene therapy concepts and delivery systems in prostate cancer and discuss their usefulness in the clinic.
Keywords: gene therapy, prostate cancer, antisense, viral vectors, ultrasound, microbubbles
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