Navigation Links
Gene-Targeted Cancer Fix Could Be a Breakthrough
Date:3/21/2010

For first time in humans, scientists used RNA to stop production of protein driving malignancy

SUNDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- For the first time in humans, scientists have successfully used a gene-manipulation therapy to enter tumor cells and block the production of toxic proteins that are causing cancer, researchers report.

"They're basically putting an instruction booklet into the cell saying, 'We don't want this protein expressed for now,'" explained Gregory Adams, co-leader of the developmental therapeutics program at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. "It's pretty amazing. It's potentially huge."

"This is something we've been waiting to see," he continued.

"This directly interferes with the genetic mechanisms that promote cancer to stop the production of a particular protein," added Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. "This is one step away from getting into the actual DNA."

As reported online March 21 in Nature, this is the first time the process, known as RNA interference (RNAi), has been shown to work in humans.

The process of RNA interference involves putting two strands of RNA together to form so-called "small interfering RNAs" (siRNAs) and inserting them into cells. Once there, these interlopers cut the messenger RNA (mRNA) that is ordinarily used to make specific proteins. This discovery won the Nobel Prize in 2006.

But the work that nabbed the prize was done in worms -- a far cry from humans.

And there were other challenges, not the least of which was how to get the siRNAs into the appropriate cell and then make sure they did what they were supposed to do.

This team, from the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), devised a super-small nanoparticle system that, when injected into the body, would make its way to the tumor, deposit the siRNAs into the tumor cell and leave them to their assigned task.

This early-phase clinical trial involved actual patients with melanoma, a particularly virulent form of skin cancer.

The experiment proceeded just as planned, as biopsies later showed.

The researchers injected the cargo-laden nanoparticles into the patients, much as you would administer a flu or any other type of shot. They did not inject directly into the tumor as many other researchers have done.

The nanoparticles made their way smoothly to the target -- the tumor cell -- and cleaved the mRNA in just the right place, stopping production of the culprit protein.

The precision of the process is crucial to limiting side effects, the researchers said.

"Now you can go selectively at proteins involved in the disease and not have off-target effects," explained Mark E. Davis, lead author of the paper, and professor of chemical engineering at CalTech in Pasadena. "Normally when you make drugs, it's hard to say 'attack only that protein.' In this particular case, I'm going to go in at the genetic level and eliminate that one protein I want to eliminate."

And unlike conventional gene therapy -- where the offending gene is replaced by a new one or overridden -- this therapy is reversible, said Adams.

"This will run its course. Ultimately, it will restore itself," he said.

The authors believe the same system could provide a highly targeted, selective way to reach many different genes and affect tumors that have untll now eluded drug therapy.

Obviously, the process will have to be refined and optimized before it's actually used for treatment.

"This is the first qualitative 'yes, we can do it' publication and it really has to be kept in that perspective," Adams said.

More information

There's more on RNA interference at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.



SOURCES: Mark E. Davis, Ph.D., professor, chemical engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena; Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., deputy chief medical officer, American Cancer Society; Gregory Adams, Ph.D., co-leader, developmental therapeutics program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia; March 21, 2010, online Nature


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Newer Genetic Info Adds Little to Predicting Breast Cancer
2. Disabling Skp2 gene helps shut down cancer growth
3. Researchers find new chemotherapy combination shows promise in endometrial cancer
4. Latest Cancer Clinic Closure in Selma, Alabama
5. ASTRO publishes supplement on protecting cancer patients by reducing radiation doses, side effects
6. Nurses research settles a common cancer concern: Skin care
7. Cancer Articles Tend to Focus on Positive Outcomes
8. SBRT eliminates tumors with promising survival for early-stage inoperable lung cancer patients
9. BioSphere Medical's HepaSphere Microspheres Safely Deliver Doxorubicin in Liver Cancer Chemoembolization Therapy -- Study Presented at SIR
10. Pain Relief Often Delayed for Cancer Patients
11. Prostate Cancer Radiation Side Effects May Subside With Time
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... Inc., will be speaking on how healthcare companies can use newly released government ... the health of a population and intervene and capture the value they create ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... ... According to research by the National Association of Dental ... certified or obtain continuing education. To increase patient awareness of the lack of ... to inform dentists and patients about the possible lack of skills and knowledge ...
(Date:2/7/2016)... ... 2016 , ... HealthSmart Holdings, Inc. announced today the launch ... and information to lower the costs, and increase the impact of their healthcare ... healthcare benefits by as much as 22%:, + Price and quality transparency, ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... 06, 2016 , ... US Sports Camps is proud to sponsor the Bay ... together top non-profit leaders, ultimate organizations, and coaches from around the US. The theme ... Disc Program Director of Youth and Education, describes this year YUCC as “an important ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 06, 2016 , ... ... phases of eating disorder treatment helps to reduce the frequency and level of ... the Recovery Phase: Re-Establishing Healthy Identity and Purpose,” will explore the critical tasks ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... PUNE, India , February 8, 2016 ... to a new market research report "Ablation Technologies Market ... Application (Csardiovascular, Cancer, Pain Management, Cosmetic Surgery, Ophthalmology, Gynecology) ... report studies the global market over the forecast period ... reach $4.44 Billion by 2020, at CAGR of 10.5% ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... In a historic vote among its members this weekend, the Shinnecock Indian ... facility and dispensary on tribal land near Southampton . ... provider for patients in the state,s Medical Cannabis Program. --> ... patients in the state,s Medical Cannabis Program. --> Tribal ... pursue designation from the State of New York ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/x6mkjm/knee ) has announced ... Market by Product Type (Primary (Cemented & Cementless), ... Eu-5, Japan, Bric, Turkey, Indonesia - Global Analysis ... offering. --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/x6mkjm/knee ) has ... Devices Market by Product Type (Primary (Cemented & ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: