Clinical development of gene therapy for colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common type of malignancy in Western nations. Improvements in surgical and radiotherapeutic techniques and the increased availability of new cytotoxic drugs have improved outcome, but 50% of patients still die from recurrent or metastatic disease. Several features of its natural history render CRC a good candidate for gene therapy. Techniques include gene replacement, virus-directed enzyme-prodrug therapy, immune manipulation and virotherapy, all of which have entered clinical trials.