The 'First International Symposium on Genetic Anticancer Agents,' which took place in Amsterdam on March 8-9, 2000, served as a forum to review the results of preclinical and clinical gene therapy studies for cancer endeavored to date. Despite the fact that gene therapy was initially conceptualized as an approach for inherited genetic disease, it is currently finding its widest employ for treating neoplastic disorders. In this regard, more than 70% of patients treated to date in human clinical gene therapy protocols have been in the context of anticancer regimens.1 Of note, the application of gene therapy for cancer has proceeded from the same rational basis as was originally conceptualized for inherited genetic disorders. Specifically, the molecular basis of these disorders is increasingly being understood, therapeutic genes are available, and alternative therapies are often lacking. Most recently, the field of gene therapy has enjoyed the realization of the first incontrovertible evidence of clinical benefit, for hemophilia and cardiovascular disease, in its first 15 years of human application.2 This recent recognition of the potential power of gene therapy, and the current lack of realizing such ends for neoplastic disease, has led to a reassessment of the field. Such a critical analysis is a necessary step in defining the means to progress the technology toward achieving the potential benefits of gene therapy for cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1197-1199
Number of pages3
JournalCancer gene therapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2000


  • Clinical trials
  • Gene therapy
  • Preclinical research
  • Replication
  • Targeting
  • Vectors


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