In view of the limited success of available treatment modalities for breast cancer, alternative and complementary strategies need to be developed. The delineation of the molecular basis of breast cancer provides the possibility of specific intervention by gene therapy through the introduction of genetic material for therapeutic purposes. In this regard, several gene therapy approaches for carcinoma of the breast have been developed. These approaches can be divided into six broad categories: (1) mutation compensation, (2) molecular chemotherapy, (3) proapoptotic gene therapy, (4) antiangiogenic gene therapy, (5) genetic immunopotentiation, and (6) genetic modulation of resistance/sensitivity. Clinical trials for breast cancer have been initiated to evaluate safety, toxicity, and efficacy. Combined modality therapy with gene therapy and chemotherapy or radiation therapy has shown promising results. It is expected that as new therapeutic targets and approaches are identified and advances in vector design are realized, gene therapy will play an increasing role in clinical breast cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-647
Number of pages15
JournalCancer gene therapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 17 2006


  • Breast cancer
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Gene therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Suicide gene therapy


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