Transcriptional targeting is the best approach for specific gene therapy. Hypoxia is a common feature of the tumour microenvironment. Therefore, targeting gene expression in hypoxic cells by placing transgene under the control of a hypoxia-responsive promoter can be a good strategy for cancer-specific gene therapy. The hypoxia-inducible gene expression system has been investigated more in suicide gene therapy and it can also be of great help in knocking down cancer gene therapy with siRNAs. However, this system needs to be optimised to have maximum efficacy with minimum side effects in normal tissues. The combination of tissue-/tumour-specific promoters with HRE core sequences has been found to enhance the specificity and efficacy of this system. In this review, hypoxia-inducible gene expression system as well as gene therapy strategies targeting tumour hypoxia will be discussed. This review will also focus on hypoxia-inducible tumourspecific promoters as a dual-targeting transcriptional regulation systems developed for cancer-specific gene therapy.