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 September 19, 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 September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
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