Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nanomedicine: Gene fuelled transporter causes breast cancer cells to self-destruct

Date:
February 28, 2011
Source:
Queen's University, Belfast
Summary:
Scientists have shown that they can deliver a gene directly into breast cancer cells causing them to self-destruct, using an innovative, miniscule gene transport system, according to new research.

Scientists at Queen's University Belfast have shown that they can deliver a gene directly into breast cancer cells causing them to self-destruct, using an innovative, miniscule gene transport system, according to research published February 28 in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics.

Using a transport system called a Designer Biomimetic Vector (DBV), Dr Helen McCarthy, from Queen's School of Pharmacy, funded by Breast Cancer Campaign, packaged a gene into a nanoparticle 400 times smaller than the width of a human hair, allowing it to be delivered straight into breast cancer cells in the laboratory.

The gene called iNOS, is targeted specifically to breast cancer cells using the DBV where it forces the cells to produce poisonous nitric oxide; either killing the cells outright or making them more vulnerable to being destroyed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. As this approach leaves normal healthy breast cells unaffected, this would overcome many of the toxic side effects of current treatments.

Further investigation is needed but it could be trialled in patients in as little as five years. Dr McCarthy's next step is to turn the nanoparticles into a dried powder that could be easily transported and reconstituted before being given to patients.

Dr McCarthy said: "A major stumbling block to using gene therapy in the past has been the lack of an effective delivery system. Combining the Designer Biomimetic Vector with the iNOS gene has proved successful in killing breast cancer cells in the laboratory. In the long term, I see this being used to treat people with metastatic breast cancer that has spread to the bones, ideally administered before radiotherapy and chemotherapy."

Dr Lisa Wilde, Research Information Senior Manager, Breast Cancer Campaign said: "Gene therapy could potentially be an exciting avenue for treating breast cancer. Although at an early stage, Dr McCarthy's laboratory research shows that this system for delivering toxic genes to tumour cells holds great promise and we look forward to seeing how it is translated into patients."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University, Belfast. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Helen O. McCarthy, Alek V. Zholobenko, Yuhua Wang, Brenda Canine, Tracy Robson, David G. Hirst, Arash Hatefi. Evaluation of a multi-functional nanocarrier for targeted breast cancer iNOS gene therapy. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2011; 405 (1-2): 196 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2010.11.051

Cite This Page:

Queen's University, Belfast. "Nanomedicine: Gene fuelled transporter causes breast cancer cells to self-destruct." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110227211021.htm>.
Queen's University, Belfast. (2011, February 28). Nanomedicine: Gene fuelled transporter causes breast cancer cells to self-destruct. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110227211021.htm
Queen's University, Belfast. "Nanomedicine: Gene fuelled transporter causes breast cancer cells to self-destruct." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110227211021.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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