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Microbubble-delivered combination therapy eradicates prostate cancer in vivo
Date:5/10/2011

atural immune system response," says Fisher. "This study not only identifies a potential new therapy for prostate cancer, it also provides a new way of using therapeutic viruses that could transform the way we deliver viral gene therapy."

UTMD uses microscopic, gas-filled bubbles that provide great contrast against soft tissue when viewed using ultrasound equipment. The microbubbles can also be paired with complexes made to bind to specific areas of the body, allowing them to be targeted. In this study, a weakened adenovirus (a virus that is typically associated with respiratory infections) engineered to deliver the tumor-suppressing gene mda-7/IL-24 was joined to the microbubbles and delivered through the blood stream directly into the prostate. UTMD's ability to systematically target a disease site could revolutionize gene therapy.

"Although our studies focused on prostate cancer, in principle, they could be applied to many other cancers," says Fisher. "Additionally, ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction could deliver directly to cancers other viruses, therapeutic genes not contained in a virus and potentially other therapeutic proteins."

UTMD technology is currently utilized in Phase III clinical trials to treat heart disease. Because the technology is already being applied in the clinic, the researchers plan to partner with clinicians to develop a Phase I clinical trial to evaluate the safety of viral gene therapy using UTMD in patients with prostate cancer.


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Contact: John Wallace
wallacej@vcu.edu
804-628-1550
Virginia Commonwealth University
Source:Eurekalert

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