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Antisense inhibition as cancer therapy

C.A. Stein
From: Science & Medicine: Volume 8 Number 6: Page 318 (February 2002)

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Abstract: Antisense oligonucleotides have been heralded as potential "magic bullets" of cancer therapy for nearly 20 years. In theory, these short, single-stranded DNA molecules hybridize to unique sequences of mRNA and thereby prevent RNA translation of active proteins. Despite in vitro success, clinical application of antisense agents has been limited by nuclease degradation, intracellu-lar compartmentalization, and unpredicted biologic effects and toxicity. New antisense agents, designed with modifications to avoid these problems, are in clinical trials and target the anti-apoptotic protein bcl-2, which is commonly expressed in many cancer cells.

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