Journal of drug targeting

Gelatin-based delivery systems for cancer gene therapy.

PMID 19863194


Gelatin is a natural, biocompatible, nontoxic, edible, and inexpensive macromolecule. These properties result in its wide application in pharmaceutical, medical, and cosmetic products. Recently, it has been used for the delivery of such gene therapeutic entities as plasmid DNA. This review discusses the in vivo and in vitro studies using gelatin for delivery of therapeutic genes to cancerous cells. Recent studies show that present cancer gene therapy using gelatin is lacking in both efficiency and specificity in comparison with viral vectors, whereas complexes of therapeutic DNA with modified gelatin possibly offer a safe and efficient strategy for systemic administration of therapeutic genes to solid tumors compared to injection of naked plasmid DNA. The future of these promising approaches lies in the development of better techniques for preparing gelatin-gene complexes with the aim of a gelatin-based cancer gene therapy with comparable efficiency to viral vectors but with the added advantage of biosafety for patients.