E Lattime et al (eds)
Published by Academic Press (2002)
ISBN: 0-12-437551-0. 524 pages plus index.
This is a fantastic book for anyone interested in gene therapy for cancer. It covers most of the major areas that require consideration for such strategies. These include gene delivery (using retroviral vectors, non-infectious and expression systems, parvovirus vectors, lenti-viral vectors, replication-selective adenoviruses, liposomes and plasmids, the use of ribozymes and antibody-targeting), immune-targeted gene therapy and vaccine strategies. The latter includes discussion of epitope-specific immunotherapies (targeting mutated ras genes), genetic immunisation using dendritic cells loaded with tumour DNA or RNA or by the use of gold particles. Sections on immunotherapy include adoptive immunotherapeutic techniques, and genetic modification of haematopoietic stem cells. Specific therapies, such as oncogene or tumour suppressor gene targeting, antisense downregulation of apoptosis, anti-angiogenic gene therapy, manipulation of drug resistance genes in stem cells and clinical trial results using oncolytic viruses (replication-selective viruses) are also discussed. One omission is a description of transcriptional targeting to provide specificity of delivery of the genes of interest, where promoter and enhancer elements of a gene expressed in a given tissue or tumour type are used to drive expression of the therapeutic genes. When gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy is to be used, transcriptional targeting can provide additional specificity to that obtained by injecting the organ of interest. Finally, the place of combined therapies, using gene therapy plus ionising radiation for treating cancer, is examined.
Each chapter in the book is written by a world-renowned researcher(s) in the field and includes an excellent coverage of basic biology through to the use of very recent strategies, together with future perspectives. The book covers preclinical work through to clinical trials, pointing out the advantages and drawbacks that have been identified to date. The referencing is excellent and comprehensive. I strongly recommend this book to gene therapists, including virologists and molecular biologists determining vector structures, researchers performing preclinical studies, immunologists determining immunological strategies, oncologists conducting clinical trials and pathologists, as well as pharmaceutical companies.