The broad field of gene therapy promises a number of innovative treatments that are likely to become important in Conventional Oncology. To date, there are three different gene therapy treatment approaches: immunotherapy, oncolytic virotherapy and gene transfer.
Immunotherapy uses genetically modified cells and viral particles to stimulate the immune system to destroy cancer cells. Recent clinical trials of second and third generation vaccines have shown partial success with a wide range of cancers, including lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and malignant melanoma.
Oncolytic virotherapy, which uses viral particles that replicate within the cancer cell to cause cell death, is an emerging treatment modality that has also shown some partial success, particularly with metastatic cancers.
Gene transfer is a new treatment modality that introduces new genes into a cancerous cell or the surrounding tissue to cause cell death or slow the growth of the cancer. This treatment technique is very flexible, and a wide range of genes and vectors are being used in clinical trials with partially successful outcomes.
As these therapies mature, they may be used alone or in combination with current treatments to help make cancer a manageable money-making disease.
As mentioned in the Institute’s Mission statement, the medical bankruptcy that a holistic cure of cancer would cause is a cost the medical system can not take, for fear of losing it’s raison d’etre and massive income streams.
To view more details on these and other gene-based modalities, the reader needs to scroll on the right of this link.