Home PACS News PACS Corporate News Main Line research team develops potential new approach to treating ovarian cancer - Philadelphia Business Journal
Main Line research team develops potential new approach to treating ovarian cancer - Philadelphia Business Journal PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 25 March 2016 09:25
Main Line research team develops potential new approach to treating ovarian cancer - Philadelphia Business Journal

The Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) team partnered with scientists at Genisphere[1], a biotech company in Hatfield, Pa., to use their DNA nanocarrier platform technology, called 3DNA for the delivery of the molecule designed to suppress a protein called HuR.

Genisphere’s 3DNA drug delivery technology features a nanoscale, scaffold made from proprietary, synthetic DNA formed in a flexible, branched structure.

“We have shown that suppression of HuR, a master regulator of hundreds of genes, disrupts multiple essential cellular molecular pathways needed by ovarian tumor cells to survive — a finding that sets this therapeutic approach apart from other therapies that target a single gene,” said Sawicki, a professor and deputy director at LIMR. “This work takes a significant step forward in the field of cancer siRNA therapeutics and advances the potential use of 3DNA technology in the clinic”

Small interfering RNA (siRNA), a molecular technology, is used to inhibit the function of a single gene of interest.

Sawicki said the targeted delivery of siRNA to tumors into the circulatory system so that the entire body is affected has been a major challenge for researchers, and has impeded the advancement of promising siRNA-based therapies to the clinic. She said the nanocarrier developed by the LIMR research team and Genisphere “meets this challenge and targets an HuR-inhibitory siRNA to ovarian tumors.”

The current standard treatment for patients with advanced-stage ovarian cancer is removal of the ovaries, followed by chemotherapy. About 80 percent of such patients initially have good results, but in most patients the tumors eventually return — and the recurrent tumors develop resistance to chemotherapy.

The consortium’s study was published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Other LIMR-affiliated members of the research team include Yu-Hung Huang[2], a Drexel University graduate student; Weidan Peng[3], a research assistant professor; and Narumi Furuuch[4]i, a biomedical research assistant. LIMR is part of the Lankenau Medical Center.

The consortium also included scientists from Thomas Jefferson University’s Department of Surgery; the Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, Germany; and Seattle-based NanoString Technologies, a provider of life science tools.

Their work was funded in part by grants from private foundations, including the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research, the Sharpe-Strumia Research Foundation of Bryn Mawr Hospital, and the Sarah Parvin Foundation.

John George covers health care, biotech/pharmaceuticals and sports business.

References

  1. ^ Genisphere (www.bizjournals.com)
  2. ^ Yu-Hung Huang (news.google.com)
  3. ^ Weidan Peng (news.google.com)
  4. ^ Narumi Furuuch (news.google.com)

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