Gene transfer system specific for endothelial cells
Viral gene transfer systems consisting of replication-deficient pseudo-type viruses which carry the VEGF on their envelope are suitable for the introduction of at least one gene into patients and can be applied in gene and tumour therapy.
Features: Specific implementation in the vascular system, high capacity for the incorporation of foreign DNA, not toxic to patients, high transfer efficiency, easy to handle.
Tumourigenic processes and the formation of metastases crucially depend on angiogenesis. Angiogenesis in tumour tissue is stimulated, among other things, by tumour-specific factors. Among them are growth factors, such as the 'Fibroblast Growth Factor' (FGF) and the 'Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor' (VEGF). For some time, therapy concepts have been under development which are aimed specifically at the prevention of the vascular supply of tumours.
A newer strategy is the specific interference with the structure and function of the tumour endothelium in order to prevent the blood supply of the tumour in the end. Herein, gene transfer systems play an important role. With them, the targeted expression of certain proteins in the tumour endothelium via specific targeting or, in contrast, specifically regulated expression becomes possible.
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