In a new study, researchers found a new ‘seek-and-destroy’ gene therapeutic system could have the potential to treat prostate cancer in the future.
The therapy halted the majority of tumors in laboratory models at the University of Strathclyde and the Beatson Institute.
The system was used against two types of prostate tumor, causing70 percent of one type and 50 percent of the other tovanish over a period of one month.
These results are a promising start for the system as it continues its progress towards the clinic.
Prostate cancer is the fourth most widespread cancer in the world, the second most common in men and the most commonplace in Europe and North America.
It causes the death of 300,000 patients worldwide each year and its incidence has continually increased over the last two decades.
The research has been published in the journal Drug Delivery.
It involved researchers from Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Strathclyde’s Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry and the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute in Glasgow.
Although some treatments, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, can be effective against localised tumors, there is still no effective treatment for patients whose cancer recurs or spreads.
This means that new therapeutic approaches are urgently needed for these patients.
Gene therapy could be highly promising for the treatment of prostate cancer, but its use is currently limited by the lack of delivery systems which can selectively deliver the therapeutic genes to the tumors without adverse side effects for healthy tissues.
To address this, the team develop a new ‘seek-and-destroy’ nanomedicine linked to an iron-carrying protein called lactoferrin, whose receptors are found in large amounts in many cancers.
The results show that it is highly promising for the treatment of prostate cancer by gene therapy.
The research was carried out on two prostate cancer cell lines, PC-3 and DU145, in laboratory settings.
The intravenous administration of the nanomedicine treatment resulted in the complete disappearance of 70 percent of the PC-3 tumours and half of the DU145 prostate tumours over one month.
Source: University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.