Selective targeting of malignant cells will be necessary to implement many of the gene therapy strategies being designed to combat cancer. Targeting can be achieved by transductional or transcriptional approaches. Transductional targeting can be accomplished by exploiting differences in the molecules or receptors expressed on the cell surface of malignant versus normal cells. Given that malignant cells can be distinguished from normal by differences in the expression of cell surface carbohydrates, we hypothesized that transductional targeting would be feasible by molecular conjugate vectors which achieve cell binding by virtue of lectins directed against the cell surface glycocalyx. We have shown that gene transfer can be accomplished by these novel lectin-targeted molecular conjugate vectors and that lectin binding specificities may serve as a means for potential targeting of cancer cells for the purposes of gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-260
Number of pages6
JournalGene therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994


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