14 July 2007

Designer Gene Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists have come up with a new approach to treating pancreatic cancer. A bubble of fat sneaks the invading genes through cell walls. Part of the invading genes are designed so that it only activates inside a pancreatic cancer cell. The rest of the invading gene tells the cell to commit suicide. It worked well in mice who had previously received transplanted human pancreatic cancer cells that had developed into tumors.

Treatment with the gene therapy shrank the tumors, and 50 percent of the treated mice survived at least 120 days with no detectable cancer. All the untreated mice died in less than 45 days. The researchers found no evidence of toxic side effects from the treatment[.]

Given the good results, work on scaling up the treatment to human sized tumors comes next. It marks a breakthrough because: "More than 37,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, and nearly all of those cases will be untreatable."

Via Science News, original research from here.

No comments: