Advanced MicroRNA Treatment Strategy Seeks to Prolong Tumor Growth:
Researchers from Purdue University have unveiled a novel therapy designed to target cancer cells by utilizing a modified form of microRNA that naturally inhibits cell division, thereby slowing down tumor growth.
This groundbreaking therapy is engineered to deceive cancer cells into absorbing a segment of RNA that naturally obstructs cell division. In a 21-day study, tumors treated with this new therapy displayed no increase in size, whereas untreated tumors tripled in size during the same period, according to findings published in the journal Oncogene.
Lead author Andrea Kasinski, an Associate Professor of biological sciences at Purdue University, described the therapy as a combination of a delivery system that homes in on cancer cells and a modified version of microRNA-34a, a molecule likened to the brakes in a car that can slow down or halt cell division.
The targeted microRNA-34a exhibited robust suppression of the activity of at least three genes—MET, CD44, and AXL—which are known drivers of cancer and contributors to resistance against other cancer treatments. This sustained suppression lasted for a minimum of 120 hours.
The results suggest that this therapy may be effective on its own and in conjunction with existing drugs, particularly in cases where cancer has developed resistance to conventional treatments.
The precision of this therapy means that a smaller quantity of the compound is required for effectiveness, potentially reducing the risk of toxicity, side effects, and overall cost.
The research team is also working on developing a separate version of the therapy, targeting a different cell surface receptor, specifically designed for prostate cancer cells that lack excessive folate receptors.