Nanoparticle-delivered ‘suicide’ genes slowed ovarian tumor growth

The Lankenau Institute for Medical Research. Photo credit: Main Line HealthPHILADELPHIA – Nanoparticle delivery of diphtheria toxin-encoding DNA selectively expressed in ovarian cancer cells reduced the burden of ovarian tumors in mice, and researchers expect this therapy could be tested in humans within 18 to 24 months, according to a report in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Although early stage ovarian cancer can be treated with a combination of surgery followed by chemotherapy, there are currently no effective treatments for advanced ovarian cancer that has recurred after surgery and primary chemotherapy. Therefore, the majority of treated early stage cancers will relapse.

"This report is definitely a reason to hope. We now have a potential new therapy for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer that has promise for targeting tumor cells and leaving healthy cells healthy," said lead researcher Janet Sawicki, Ph.D., a professor at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research.

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