Novel Gene Therapy for Bladder Cancer Shows Strong Results in Animal Studies HOUSTON - Gene therapy that causes the bladder to act like a "bioreactor" to produce and secrete the anti-cancer agent interferon-alpha has shown dramatic benefits in preclinical tests, say researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
The researchers say their findings, published in the September issue of Molecular Therapy, suggest this gene therapy strategy holds much promise for treating aggressive human superficial bladder cancer and that a clinical trial is being planned.
Human bladder tumors growing in experimental mice substantially decreased in size after two treatments with novel gene-based therapy. There was little or no evidence of cancer cells remaining in the bladder in many of the mice after treatment. Also, every kind of bladder cancer cell line tested in the laboratory responded, even cells known to be resistant to the interferon-alpha protein. "Of course these results have been achieved in mice, not humans, but they are very exciting," says the lead investigator William Benedict, M.D., professor in the Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology. "I have never seen a potential therapy for superficial bladder cancer that could produce such marked regression of tumors within the bladder."
Heather Russell | EurekAlert!
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