Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MicroRNAs Make For Safer Cancer Treatments

Date:
October 29, 2008
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Viruses -- long regarded solely as disease agents -- now are being used in therapies for cancer. Concerns over the safety of these so-called oncolytic viruses stem from their potential to damage healthy tissues. Now researchers have discovered a way of controlling the viruses behind potential cancer therapeutics.

Viruses -- long regarded solely as disease agents -- now are being used in therapies for cancer. Concerns over the safety of these so-called oncolytic viruses stem from their potential to damage healthy tissues. Now Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered a way of controlling the viruses behind potential cancer therapeutics.

They are engineering the virus's genetic sequence, using microRNAs to restrict them to specific tissues. The microRNAs destabilize the virus's genome, making it impossible for the virus to run amok.

The discovery is reported in the current issue of Nature Medicine.

"Our findings demonstrate a new tool for molecular medicine that should also help allay concern over the use of viruses as a therapeutic delivery system," says Stephen Russell, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo physician-scientist and lead author of the study.

MicroRNAs are the nucleotide snippets that are encoded by genes, but don't end up as proteins. In many cases, they have a role in down-regulating different cellular genes. In this case, a virus is engineered to be responsive to microRNAs that are present in certain cell types. Using this new form of targeting, researchers redirected a virus normally responsible for a lethal muscle infection to recognize only cancer cells. The laboratory mice that received the engineered virus were cured of established tumors and suffered no ill effects.

Significance of the research

Most viruses can infect different cell types, which leads to the array of symptoms during a viral infection. Now as viruses are being engineered for use as vaccines, cancer therapeutics and gene therapy vectors, researchers want to restrict and redirect the types of cells they do (or don't) infect as additional safeguards against disease. The target sequences of microRNAs used in the study kept the virus from destroying muscle cells while allowing viral replication to proceed in cancer cells allowing the virus to completely cure mice with melanoma.

The Mayo researchers say microRNA target insertion may be a new way to make viruses safer for use in cancer therapy and could lead to new methods of making safer vaccines.

Others on the research team are Elizabeth Kelly, Elizabeth Hadac and Suzanne Greiner. Support for the study was provided by Mayo Clinic.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "MicroRNAs Make For Safer Cancer Treatments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081026150151.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2008, October 29). MicroRNAs Make For Safer Cancer Treatments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081026150151.htm
Mayo Clinic. "MicroRNAs Make For Safer Cancer Treatments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081026150151.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. 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:
from the past week

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