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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 549136, 8 pages
Review Article

Stem Cell Based Gene Therapy in Prostate Cancer

1Department of Urology, Soonchunhyang University, College of Medicine, Soonchunyang University Hospital, Seoul 140-743, Republic of Korea
2Medical Research Institute, Chung-Ang School of Medicine, Seoul 156-756, Republic of Korea

Received 6 March 2014; Accepted 2 July 2014; Published 10 July 2014

Academic Editor: Jeremy Clark

Copyright © 2014 Jae Heon Kim et al. 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 prostate cancer treatment, especially hormone refractory cancer, may create profound iatrogenic outcomes because of the adverse effects of cytotoxic agents. Suicide gene therapy has been investigated for the substitute modality for current chemotherapy because it enables the treatment targeting the cancer cells. However the classic suicide gene therapy has several profound side effects, including immune-compromised due to viral vector. Recently, stem cells have been regarded as a new upgraded cellular vehicle or vector because of its homing effects. Suicide gene therapy using genetically engineered mesenchymal stem cells or neural stem cells has the advantage of being safe, because prodrug administration not only eliminates tumor cells but consequently kills the more resistant therapeutic stem cells as well. The attractiveness of prodrug cancer gene therapy by stem cells targeted to tumors lies in activating the prodrug directly within the tumor mass, thus avoiding systemic toxicity. Therapeutic achievements using stem cells in prostate cancer include the cytosine deaminase/5-fluorocytosine prodrug system, herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir, carboxyl esterase/CPT11, and interferon-beta. The aim of this study is to review the stem cell therapy in prostate cancer including its proven mechanisms and also limitations.