RNA Interference in the Treatment of Colon Cancer

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Abstract

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women and has shown a progressive increase over the past 20 years. Current chemotherapy has major limitations, and a novel therapeutic approach is required. Given that neoplastic transformation of colon epithelial cells is a consequence of genetic and epigenetic alterations, RNA interference (RNAi) has been proposed as a new therapeutic strategy that offers important advantages over conventional treatments, with high specificity and potency and low toxicity. RNAi has been employed as an effective tool to study the function of genes, preventing their expression and leading to the development of new approaches to cancer treatment. In malignancies, including colon cancer, RNAi is being used for “silencing” genes that are deregulated by different processes such as gene amplification, mutation, or overexpression and may be the cause of oncogenesis. This strategy not only provides information on the involvement of certain genes in colon cancer, but also opens up a new perspective for its treatment. However, most studies have used adenovirus or lentivirus vectors to transport RNAi into tumor cells or tumors in animal models, because several technical obstacles must be overcome before RNAi can be used in the clinical setting. The aim of this study was to review current knowledge on the use of RNAi techniques in the treatment of colon cancer.

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