Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists At The Scripps Research Institute Design Gene-Tipped Tumor Regressor "Smartbombs"

Date:
July 1, 2002
Source:
Scripps Research Institute
Summary:
A group of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have demonstrated what, in principle, could be a new way of treating cancer and several other diseases where angiogenesis occurs. Angiogenesis, the formation and differentiation of new blood vessels, is a crucial process in cancer, and, when blocked, improves a patient's prognosis.

A group of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have demonstrated what, in principle, could be a new way of treating cancer and several other diseases where angiogenesis occurs. Angiogenesis, the formation and differentiation of new blood vessels, is a crucial process in cancer, and, when blocked, improves a patient's prognosis.

Related Articles


In cancer-related angiogenesis, tumors develop their own blood supplies by causing cells that line blood vessels to proliferate, forming new vessels and bringing more blood to the tumor. The increased oxygen and nutrients the tumors receive allows them to grow and enables certain "metastatic" cells to leave the tumor, enter the bloodstream, migrate to other tissues of the body, and establish more tumors.

In an article appearing in the latest issue of the journal Science, the TSRI investigators combined a gene that shuts off angiogenesis with a 50-100 nanometer-sized particle that selectively targets the cells that form new blood vessels in cancer tumors. This approach combines gene delivery with specific vascular targeting thereby effectively disrupting the blood supply of tumors without influencing the normal blood vessels or any other tissue.

This anti-cancer nanoparticle is like a smart bomb that delivers its multiple warhead genetic payload into endothelial cells that proliferate during angiogenesis—which is the medical equivalent of cutting off all the supply routes to destroy the tumor. Once angiogenesis is stopped, the tumor cells starve, and the tumor is ultimately destroyed.

Anti-angiogenics have been known of and studied for many years, but this anti-cancer nanoparticle is a new type of anti-angiogenic. Unlike other, "systemic" angiogenesis blockers, which become diffused throughout the blood steam upon injection, the nanoparticle-targeting vehicle directs itself to areas of the body where the tumors exist and where local vascular cells are expanding to form new blood vessels. The nanoparticle homes in on these cells and drops off multiple copies of a gene that effectively blocks angiogenesis and kills tumors.

"We saw strong regression of large tumors in every system we looked at," says TSRI Immunology Professor David Cheresh, Ph.D., who led the study.

In the current study, the TSRI investigators first report how they successfully delivered nanoparticles with "reporter" genes—such as those encoding for luciferase or green fluorescent protein, proteins that glow like the tail of a firefly. These reporter genes allowed dramatic demonstrations of the specific targeting of the nanoparticles to tumors. (The tumors glowed green under a microscope).

Cheresh and his colleagues then combined the nanoparticle with the mutant Raf gene and tested whether they could regress tumors in vivo, and they found the technique worked. Everywhere there were metastatic lesions in the lung or liver, the Raf gene eliminated them.

The next step, says Cheresh, is to develop the technique in a more refined way as a general approach towards cancer therapy. The method might prove efficacious alongside some existing chemotherapy, for instance, and thereby reduce the toxicity of existing anti-cancer drugs.

And, he adds, these nanoparticles may be useful in several other diseases where angiogenesis plays a major role—like heart disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain types of blindness in elderly patients (age-related macular degeneration) and in patients with diabetes (diabetic retinopathy).

The research article "Tumor Regression by Targeted Gene Delivery to the Neovasculature" is authored by John D. Hood, Mark Bednarski, Ricardo Frausto, Samira Guccione, Ralph A. Reisfeld, Rong Xiang, and David A. Cheresh and appears in the June 28, 2002 issue of the journal Science.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and by a grant from Merck KGAa.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Scripps Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Scripps Research Institute. "Scientists At The Scripps Research Institute Design Gene-Tipped Tumor Regressor "Smartbombs"." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 July 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020701090039.htm>.
Scripps Research Institute. (2002, July 1). Scientists At The Scripps Research Institute Design Gene-Tipped Tumor Regressor "Smartbombs". ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020701090039.htm
Scripps Research Institute. "Scientists At The Scripps Research Institute Design Gene-Tipped Tumor Regressor "Smartbombs"." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020701090039.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins