A talented team of researchers believe that a new gene therapy technique could be successful in the battle against potentially fatal ovarian cancer. They have stated that minute nanoparticles act as the carrier of powerful genes which appear to effectively restrain the onset of this cancer in animal models. This revelation was made by the researchers from MIT and the Lankenau Institute.
Presently, patients suffering from ovarian cancer undergo chemotherapy which is later followed by surgery. However, in certain cases this tumor again develops after its treatment. But, at present there are notably not many effective ways of treating recurring or advanced-stage tumors.
It is believed that the findings of this research may lead to the development of novel treatments against ovarian cancer. Since this disease is often diagnosed in its later stages, it is perceived to be one of the most fatal types of cancer. It has been estimated that in the US, this type of disease may be credited for more than 15,000 deaths taking place every year.
Seemingly, this novel treatment is believed to carry a particular gene that produces the diphtheria toxin, which in turn hampers the cells ability to produce proteins, thereby bringing about its death.
Lead researcher Professor Janet Sawicki along with her team found that this particular gene-therapy treatment may be considered as equally effective as compared to the traditional chemotherapy combination of cisplatin and paclitaxel. Other than this, the new treatment was also believed to be devoid of the toxic side effects of chemotherapy. This was so, because they have seemingly been engineered in such a way so that they are over-expressed in the cancerous ovarian cells and inactive in the other cell types.
Furthermore, these nanoparticles were directly injected into the peritoneal cavity so as to ensure tumor-focused effects. The peritoneal cavity encloses the abdominal organs like the liver, stomach, ovaries, spleen and uterus.
After a few more preclinical analyzes on the topic, human clinical trials are believed to soon be commenced in the following years. These experts hope to assess the effectiveness of these particles in various other types of cancers, like those of lung, liver and brain.
These findings have been reported in the journal Cancer.