Engineering bacterial nitroreductases for anticancer gene therapy and targeted cell ablation

Conference Dates

September 24-28, 2017


Specific tumour ablation through gene therapy holds great promise as an anti-cancer strategy. Gene therapy has potential to achieve specificity and ablation through a mechanism unlike that of chemo and radio-therapies, and to be used in combination with these therapies without overlapping toxicities. In one promising therapy a bacterial or viral tumour-tropic vector can be ‘armed’ with genes encoding enzymes that convert prodrugs, non-toxic precursor molecules, into a highly cytotoxic form. Current cancer treatments are disadvantaged by their non-specificity resulting in undesirable side-effects for patients, and historically gene therapy has been hindered by the inability of the vector to infect all cancer cells necessary to eradicate the tumour and prevent recurrence.

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