According to a new study, a gene delivery system based on ‘seek and destroy’ strategy has shown potential to treat most prostate cancers in the near future. The study conducted by University of Strathclyde and Beatson Institute has found that the new treatment halted the majority of prostate tumors in laboratory models.
The study found that by using the system, 70% and 50% of one and other type of prostate tumors vanished in just one month period. The results of the study were published in a UK-based academic journal, is a promising head-start for a system which is may be rolled out in clinic. Researchers rank prostate cancer fourth on world’s most widespread cancers with men being the second most common victim. Prostate cancer is most common in North America and Europe as it continues to cause 300,000 deaths worldwide every year.
A lecturer at the University of Strathclyde, Christine Dufes said that although treatments like radiotherapy and chemotherapy have proven to be a very effective for localized tumors, there’s lack of better alternative treatments in case of recurrence of cancer. Gene therapy can become a promising alternative for the treatment of prostate cancer; however its use is restricted owing to the absence of delivery systems which can deliver therapeutic genes to target tumors selectively without collateral damage to the healthy tissues.
She added that to address the above issue with gene therapy they developed a nanomedicine which is linked to lactoferin, an iron protein whose receptors found in many cancers in great amounts. She added that the results have been significantly promising for gene therapy based prostate cancer treatment. The research was conducted on DU-145 and PC-3 cancer cell lines in lab settings. The nanomedicine upon intravenous introduction into the patient resulted in absolute disappearance of 50% of Du145 and 70% of PC-3 tumors over a period of one month.
A Science and communications manager at the principal financer of the study Worldwide Cancer Research Mr. Matthew Lam said that the research is a significant advancement in gene therapy for cancer treatment and that he expects that one day it would be used to treat prostate cancer patients in clinics worldwide. The nanomedicine is a clever blend of chemistry to enable targeted delivery of the therapeutics right at the heart of the tumor which is a significant step forward.