DNA (antisense and other oligonucleotides) drug design represents a direct genetic approach for cancer treatment. Such an approach takes advantage of mechanisms that activate genes known to confer a growth advantage to neoplastic cells. The ability to block the expression of these genes allows exploration of normal growth regulation. Progress in DNA drug technology has been rapid, and the traditional antisense inhibition of gene expression is now viewed on a genomic scale. This global view has led to a new vision in antisense technology, the elimination of nonspecific and undesirable side effects, and ultimately the generation of more effective and less toxic nucleic acid medicines. Several antisense oligonucleotides are in clinical trials, are well tolerated, and are potentially active therapeutically. DNA drugs are promising molecular medicines for treating human cancer in the near future.
antisense, oligonucleotides, dna drugs, gene expression, cancer, growth inhibition, transcription factor decoy
Cellular Biochemistry Section, BRL, CCR, National Cancer Institute, Bldg. 10, Rm. 5B05, 9000Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892-1750, USA.