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Deep genomic analysis identifies a micro RNA opponent for ovarian cancer
Date:2/11/2013

HOUSTON - Researchers employed an extensive analysis of genomic information to identify a new, high-risk cohort of ovarian cancer patients, characterize their tumors, find a potential treatment and test it in mouse models of the disease.

The exhaustive analysis that led to micro RNA 506 (miR-506) as a potential therapeutic candidate for advanced or metastatic ovarian cancer is the cover article in the Feb. 11 edition of Cancer Cell.

"Functional analysis showed that miR-506 is a robust inhibitor of a cellular transition that makes ovarian cancer cells more resistant to treatment and likely to spread. We will continue to investigate this micro RNA as an inhibitor of ovarian cancer metastasis," said Wei Zhang, Ph.D. professor in MD Anderson's Department of Pathology and senior author of the paper.

Micro RNAs do not code for genes like their cousins, the messenger RNAs. They are capable of blocking a gene's activation by plugging up its promoter region or altering its protein after it's expressed.

Cell line experiments demonstrated that miR-506 blocks cancer cells by suppressing a protein crucial to transforming a cell from one type to another associated with cancer invasiveness, metastasis and shortened survival.

Analysis of human tumors showed higher miR-506 expression is associated with longer overall survival. Mice with two types of advanced ovarian cancer treated with miR-506 packaged in a fatty (liposomal) nanoparticle had fewer and smaller tumors than control mice.

"We next plan to test whether miR-506 sensitizes ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin (standard chemotherapy) in our mouse model," Zhang said.

The liposomal nanoparticles already have been shown to be safe for human use, said co-senior author Anil Sood, M.D., professor in MD Anderson's Departments of Gynecologic Oncology and Cancer Biology and the Center for RNAi and Non-Coding RNA. "After the additional combination experime
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Contact: Scott Merville
smerville@mdanderson.org
713-792-0661
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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