Gene Therapy

Since cancer is a disease of the genes it can, in theory, be treated by either repairing the defective gene or by introducing a normal copy of the gene into the affected tissue. This procedure, known as gene therapy, was pioneered in the 1990s to treat genetic deficiencies of the immune system. Since that time, more than 600 gene therapy trials have been launched in the United States alone, of which 60 percent are designed to treat various types of cancer. Introducing a gene into a cell is a...

Chemotherapy

Certain drugs may be used to kill or inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The nature of a drug varies depending on the type of cancer, its location in the body, the effect it has on normal body functions, and the overall health of the patient. In general, cancer drugs damage DNA, block the synthesis of DNA and RNA, or damage the mitotic spindle. Cancer drugs can also interfere with normal physiology by blocking steroid hormone receptors that stimulate cancer cell growth. DRUGS THAT TARGET DNA...

Oncogenes and Protooncogenes

An oncogene is produced when its normal counterpart, the proto-oncogene, is altered in some way. Research in many laboratories over the past 20 years has shown that the conversion of proto-oncogenes to oncogenes a PO conversion occurs by essentially two methods a point mutation, occurring as described above for TSGs, and insertional mutagenesis. If the mutation occurs within the gene's promoter the genetic element that turns a gene on or off , the protein product will be the same before and...