Dr Anil Sood An Indian-origin scientist has developed a treatment against ovarian cancer. The treatment has shown rather encouraging results because it targets a protein that causes tumours to grow.

Dr. Anil Sood, a professor of Gynaecologic Oncology and Cancer Biology department, identified Interleukin-8 (IL-8), a type of protein produced by cells, as potential therapeutic target in treating ovarian cancer patients.

Dr. Sood has developed a short interfering RNA (siRNA) product that cuts in IL-8 expression, and reduces the tumour size by limiting its blood supply.
“The protein IL-8 is a potential therapeutic target in ovarian cancer,” Dr. Sood said.

The paper demonstrates that high IL-8 expression in tumors is associated with advanced tumour stage and earlier death for ovarian cancer patients.
Lab experiments and research in a mouse model showed that short interfering RNA (siRNA) can cut IL-8 expression, reducing tumour size by attacking its blood supply.

“This comprehensive analysis–with human data, animal data and lab experiments to highlight the molecular mechanisms involved–helps us develop the new targets needed for a more effective approach against ovarian cancer,” said the doctor.

Interleukin-8 is over expressed in many types of cancer and has previously been shown to promote tumour growth, new blood vessel growth known as angiogenesis, and metastasis, the spread of cancer to other organs.

“In the long run, this research will have applications in other cancers as well,” Sood said.