Gendicine: Cancer Gene Therapy

Wednesday, May 09, 2012 Stef dela Cruz 2 Comments

Yes, Gendicine, the popular cancer gene therapy that started in China, is now in the Philippines! It is one of the most promising cancer treatments in the country yet, owing its effectiveness to the advancement of genetic therapy. Yes, that means your genes get “reprogrammed” by this drug!

Cancer treatment just got a strong ally: gene therapy. Although gene therapy used to be fiction, it has finally become reality. But how exactly does gene therapy with Gendicine work? What types of cancer is Gendicine for?

Gendicine: Gene Therapy for Cancer

“Gendicine is gene therapy that targets the p53 gene,” explained Dr. David Dy, a surgical oncologist and former Medical Research Coordinator of St. Luke’s Medical Center. People with a p53 gene defect or mutation may suffer from cancer, given how the p53 gene protects from cancer. When a cell transforms and exhibits cancer properties, the p53 gene initiates cell death. With an intact p53 gene, cancer cells self-destruct.

Gendicine

Gendicine, the newest gene therapy for cancer, is the p53 gene carried by a viral vector. “The p53 gene has long been identified and the technology for replicating the p53 gene in the laboratory has long been available,” Dr. Dy said. “However, it used to be impossible to introduce normal p53 genes into a patient’s body.” Continue reading and find out how a virus carries the p53 gene and inserts it into your own DNA.

When the p53 gene is introduced intravenously, the white blood cells of the body immediately detect it as foreign and attack it. When the p53 gene is introduced directly into a tumor, it can’t effectively penetrate the cell membrane and the nuclear membrane, so it can’t act on the genes inside the nucleus.

However, a solution was found: if a vector was used to carry the p53 gene, then it can find its way into the genes (DNA) located inside the cell’s nucleus! But what vector would do that exactly?

Here is where a virus comes in. Conventionally, a virus would invade a cell and kill or use its resources. A virus can make a cell to do its bidding by injecting its own DNA (genes) into the cell’s DNA. The cell then becomes a “slave”, producing replicas of the virus. Soon, the cell is overcome with a great number of viruses, rupturing and releasing thousands of viruses into the bloodstream.

In other words, viruses can effectively invade a cell and inject their own genes into the cell. Now, what if they injected the p53 gene into a cancer cell instead? With that question in mind, p53 gene therapy came into fruition.

In my next article, I will reveal how Gendicine works, why gene therapy can improve a cancer patient’s quality of life, and why Gendicine has a safer profile than chemotherapy. Different studies showing the efficacy and safety of Gendicine as gene therapy for cancer will also be mentioned, so read the update on Gendicine here! And if you want instant updates on Facebook, do find me there (Stef dela Cruz on Facebook).

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She maintains a health column in Health.Care Magazine and a cat welfare column in The Manila Bulletin's Animal Scene. Add her to your circles.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for your valuable information.
    I have one question regarding to purchase and buy gendicine.
    I search the web but I can not find a place to buy this medicine,if you know any place that provide this medicine please tell me about that.
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi! I suggest that you ask your doctor about gene therapy/ Gendicine. It is understandable that this drug is not something you can just buy from the pharmacy as you need a doctor to administer it to you.

    It is currently available in China and the Philippines, but perhaps it is also available in your area.

    ReplyDelete

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