MicroRNA Gene Therapy Halts Cancer Growth

June 11, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A new study shows great promise for the future of gene therapy to treat cancerous tumors, especially the often untreatable primary liver cancers. Researchers successfully stopped the progression of the disease and killed off cancerous cells in tumors, by injecting microRNAs into cancer cells.

The researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, injected small RNAs, called microRNAs into mice with an aggressive form of liver cancer. They used the adeno-associated virus as a delivery system for the gene therapy that had been successfully used before with livers.

The researchers used two control groups of mice with cancerous liver tumors, giving one group the virus alone and the other group the virus containing the microRNAs. The group receiving the virus showed no stoppage of the cancer progression and it advanced significantly within three weeks.

However, the group receiving the gene therapy with the microRNAs showed amazing improvement. Some animals showed a nearly complete regression of their tumors with other mice showing a reduction in the overall size of their tumors. Additionally, the researchers were pleased to discover the microRNA gene therapy only targeted the cancerous cells, while not affecting healthy cells.

The study also showed that MicroRNAs not only halt the progression of cancerous cells, it also kills them.

Previous studies have shown that many tumor cells lose RNAs as the cancer progresses. Replacing them with healthy MicroRNAs shows great promise for the future of gene therapy to treat cancer, especially liver cancer, which is often not discovered until it’s well advanced with few treatment options available to patients.

The full study is available in the recent issue of the Cell Journal.



One Response to “MicroRNA Gene Therapy Halts Cancer Growth”

  1. 2Dinternational.com » MicroRNA Gene Therapy Halts Cancer Growth | ChattahBox News Blog on June 12th, 2009 1:57 am

    […] the original:  MicroRNA Gene Therapy Halts Cancer Growth | ChattahBox News Blog This entry is filed under Cancer, Gene Therapy. You can follow any responses to this entry […]

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