Delivery of therapeutic toxic genes to and their expression in tumor cells through the use of tissue-specific promoters could decrease their toxic effect on neighboring normal cells when virus-mediated gene delivery results in their infection. We have demonstrated the utility of two prostate cancer- specific promoters, long PSA and osteocalcin, for tissue-specific toxic gene therapy for prostate cancer. The two promoters were highly active in both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells. We also introduce the Phase I trial of osteocalcin promoter-based toxic gene therapy for bone metastases of prostate cancer, which is in progress at the University of Virginia.
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