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July 11, 2007

Researchers: Gene Therapy Eradicates Pancreatic Cancer In Preclinical Trial

Topics: Medicine

In what appears to be a promising approach to gene therapy for pancreatic cancer, researchers from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report the development of a molecularly engineered therapy that selectively embeds a gene in pancreatic cancer and shrinks or eradicates the tumors, inhibits metastasis, and prolongs survival with virtually no toxicity.
"This vehicle, or vector, is so targeted and robust in its cancer-specific expression that it can be used for therapy and perhaps for imaging," notes senior author Mien-Chie Hung, Ph.D., professor and chair of M. D. Anderson's Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology.

The researchers call the system a versatile expression vector - nicknamed VISA. It includes a targeting agent, also called a promoter, two components that boost gene expression in the target tissue, and a payload - in this case a gene known to kill cancer cells. It's all packaged in a fatty ball called a liposome and delivered intravenously.

Researchers are working with M. D. Anderson clinicians to move the system, developed and tested in mouse models of pancreatic cancer, to a Phase I clinical trial.

Continue reading: Gene Therapy Eradicates Pancreatic Cancer In Preclinical Trial

Related reading: Confronting Pancreatic Cancer

Cross posted from New Hope Blog

Posted by Richard at July 11, 2007 12:09 PM

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