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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2003 (2003), Issue 2, Pages 79-91
Review article

Baculoviruses as Vectors for Gene Therapy against Human Prostate Cancer

YCR Cancer Research Unit, Department of Biology (Area 13), University of York Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK

Received 8 July 2002; Accepted 19 July 2002

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Current curative strategies for prostate cancer are restricted to the primary tumour, and the effect of treatments to control metastatic disease is not sustained. Therefore, the application of gene therapy to prostate cancer is an attractive alternative. Baculoviruses are highly restricted insect viruses, which can enter, but not replicate in mammalian cells. Baculoviruses can incorporate large amounts of extra genetic material, and will express transgenes in mammalian cells when under the control of a mammalian or strong viral promoter. Successful gene delivery has been achieved both in vitro and in vivo and into both dividing and nondividing cells, which is important since prostate cancers divide relatively slowly. In addition, the envelope protein gp64 is sufficiently mutable to allow targeted transduction of particular cell types. In this review, the advantages of using baculoviruses for prostate cancer gene therapy are explored, and the mechanisms of viral entry and transgene expression are described.