March 21, 2010
RNA Interference As Anti-Cancer Treatment

A phase I clinical trial shows promise for RNA interference as an anti-cancer therapy.

PASADENA, Calif.—A California Institute of Technology (Caltech)-led team of researchers and clinicians has published the first proof that a targeted nanoparticle—used as an experimental therapeutic and injected directly into a patient's bloodstream—can traffic into tumors, deliver double-stranded small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), and turn off an important cancer gene using a mechanism known as RNA interference (RNAi). Moreover, the team provided the first demonstration that this new type of therapy, infused into the bloodstream, can make its way to human tumors in a dose-dependent fashion—i.e., a higher number of nanoparticles sent into the body leads to a higher number of nanoparticles in the tumor cells.

These results, published in the March 21 advance online edition of the journal Nature, demonstrate the feasibility of using both nanoparticles and RNAi-based therapeutics in patients, and open the door for future "game-changing" therapeutics that attack cancer and other diseases at the genetic level, says Mark Davis, the Warren and Katharine Schlinger Professor of Chemical Engineering at Caltech, and the research team's leader.

Will most cancer be cured by more precise delivery of toxins into cancer cells? Or will genetic reprogramming of cancer cells with gene therapy or regulatory RNAs ( as above) do the trick? I like the reprogramming approach because it is like a software update. Upload a software patch to tell those cancer cells to stop dividing.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 March 21 11:33 PM  Biotech Cancer


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