Gene therapy is a translational science, with the ultimate goal of cancer gene therapy research being to develop effective and safe treatments for patients. In the new millennium, it is imperative to tailor a therapeutic strategy for a particular disease, based on clinical management issues. The desirable regulatory features and therapeutic strategies need to be fully considered before proceeding with molecular engineering of the gene delivery vector. Issues, such as celltargeted expression, in vivo monitoring of gene delivery and expression, therapeutic strategies, and vector selection that targets the particular disease stage should be addressed. During the validation phase of the study, an objective evaluation in relevant animal models should determine whether the vector meets the desired specifications. Meeting the predetermined criteria should propel the product towards the clinical phase of evaluation. This review will present the conceptual framework that has been applied to developing an integrated and targeted gene therapy for prostate cancer.
Keywords: prostate-specific expression, gene therapy, molecular imaging, hormone-refractory prostate cancer, metastasis, transgenic prostate cancer models, human prostate cancer xenograft, adenoviral vector
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