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Tiny Sphere Of Nanoparticles Can Fight Cancer

Researchers have found in a preclinical trail, that siRNA packed as a tiny sphere can shrink ovarian cancer.//

Researchers from the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Centre had reported in the August 15th edition of Clinical Cancer Research, that siRNA that are wrapped up in a tiny sphere infiltrate deeply into ovarian cancer tumour cells, which could thereby oppress the troublesome protein and drastically reducing the size of tumours.

Anil Sood, M.D., associate professor in the Departments of Gynaecologic Oncology and Cancer Biology at M. D. Anderson, and the senior author explained that their experiment that was conducted on a mouse shows the effective delivery system for the short interfering RNA, (siRNA) in attacking the cancer cells.

Short interfering RNA is a great technology we can use to silence genes, shutting down production of harmful proteins, Sood says. 'It works well in the lab, but the question has been how to get it into tumours.' Short pieces of RNA don't make it to a tumour without being injected directly, and injection methods used in the lab are not practical for clinical use.

The research team took siRNA that targets a protein that helps ovarian cancer cells survive and spread and rolled it into a liposome -- a lipid ball so small that its dimensions are measured in nanometers (billionths of a meter).

Getting the siRNA inside tumour cells is important, Sood said, because the targeted protein, focal adhesion kinase (FAK), is inside the cell, rather than on the cell surface where most proteins targeted by cancer drugs are found. 'Targets like FAK, which are difficult to target with a drug, can be attacked with this liposomal siRNA approach, which penetrates deeply into the tumour,' Sood said.

Mice infected with three human ovarian cancer cell lines derived from women with advanced cancer were treated for 3-5 weeks. They received liposomes that contained either the FAK
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