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Gene Nanoparticles May Slow Ovarian Tumor Growth

-- Jeff Muise

Thursday, July 30, 2009

THURSDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Injection of nanoparticles encoding the gene for a diphtheria toxin suicide protein (DT-A) into mice with ovarian tumors reduced tumor burden, slowed the growth of the tumors and increased the lifespan of the mice, pointing to a potential therapy for advanced ovarian cancer, according to a study in the August 1 issue of Cancer Research.

Yu-Hung Huang, of the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research in Wynnewood, Pa., and colleagues injected into the mouse tumors cationic biodegradable poly(β-amino ester) polymer as a vector for the nanoparticles containing DNA encoding DT-A. DT-A expression was targeted to the tumor cells by the use of the promoter sequences of two genes active in ovarian tumor cells, the whey-acidic protein human epididymis protein 4 gene and the mesothelin gene. In another group, the researchers treated the mice with cisplatin and paclitaxel, the current standard combination therapy for ovarian cancer.

The researchers found that the mice receiving the intraperitoneal injection of the nanoparticles exhibited a significant reduction in tumor mass and a survival time of almost four weeks longer than mice that did not get the injections, with only minimal toxicity in surrounding tissue and blood. The authors further note that nanoparticle therapy also suppressed tumor growth better than treatment with cisplatin and paclitaxel.

"Our findings suggest that intraperitoneal injection administration of polymeric nanoparticles to deliver DT-A encoding DNA, combined with transcriptional regulation to target gene expression to ovarian tumor cells, holds promise as an effective therapy for advanced-stage ovarian cancer," Huang and colleagues conclude.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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