This technology provides a potential method for the
killing or at least inhibiting cell growth of only cancer cells, by the
induction of cytotoxic genes using Rad51 promoter constructs. The Rad51
promoters can also be used as an indicator marker for cancer cells to aid in
diagnosis and possible treatments.
The advantage of this method over other
anticancer therapies is that it allows the selective killing of cancer cells
with potentially no toxicity to normal cells. This is because cancer cells
display an overexpression of the Rad51 protein, so the Rad51 promoter activity
is 20-1000 fold higher in cancer cells, while in normal human fibroblast cells
it is highly repressed.