Suicide gene therapy for the treatment of high-grade glioma: past lessons, present trends, and future prospects.
Suicide gene therapy has represented an experimental cancer treatment modality for nearly 40 years. Among the various cancers experimentally treated by suicide gene therapy, high-grade gliomas have been the most prominent both in preclinical and clinical settings. Failure of a number of promising suicide gene therapy strategies in the clinic pointed toward a bleak future of this approach for the treatment of high-grade gliomas. Nevertheless, the development of new vectors and suicide genes, better prodrugs, more efficient delivery systems, and new combinatorial strategies represent active research areas that may eventually lead to better efficacy of suicide gene therapy. These trends are evident by the current increasing focus on suicide gene therapy for high-grade glioma treatment both in the laboratory and in the clinic. In this review, we give an overview of different suicide gene therapy approaches for glioma treatment and discuss clinical trials, delivery issues, and immune responses.