INTRODUCTION: To develop a successful formulation for the gene therapy of breast cancer, an effective therapeutic nucleic acid and a proper delivery system are essential. Increased understanding of breast cancer, and developments in biotechnology, material science and nanotechnology have provided a major impetus in the development of effective formulations for the gene therapy of breast cancer. Areas covered: We discuss DNA/RNA-based formulations that can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells and control the progress of breast cancer. Targets for the gene therapy of breast cancer, DNA/RNA-based therapeutics and delivery systems are summarized. And examples of successful DNA/RNA-based formulations for breast cancer gene therapy are reviewed. Expert opinion: Several challenges remain in developing effective DNA/RNA-based formulations for treatment of breast cancer. Firstly, most of the currently utilized targets are not effective enough as monotherapy for breast cancer. Secondly, the requirements for co-delivery system make the preparation of formulation more complicated. Thirdly, nanoparticles with the modification of tumor-targeting ligands could be more unstable in circulation and normal tissues. Lastly, immune responses against the viral vectors are unfavorable for the gene therapy of breast cancer because of the damage to the host and the impaired therapeutic ability.
Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, 2017, Vol 14, Issue 12, p. 1379-1393