Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel lipoplex nanoparticle to be used in 1st human trial treating advanced solid cancer

25.08.2005


The first clinical trial of a biologic nanoparticle designed to give back to cancer patients the tumor-busting gene they have lost is expected to start in September at Georgetown University Medical Center.



The phase I clinical study will enroll 20 patients with advanced solid cancers (including most common tumor types), and is the culmination of more than a decade of work by a team of researchers led by Professor Esther H. Chang, Ph.D. at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Their research has led to development of a tiny structure -- measuring a millionth of an inch across -- that resembles a virus particle that can penetrate deeply into the tumor and move efficiently into cells. The device is a "liposome" -- a microscopic globule made of lipids -- that is spiked on the outside with antibody molecules that will seek out, bind to, and then enter cancer cells including metastases wherever they hide in the body. These molecules bind to the receptor for transferrin that is present in high numbers on cancer cells.


Once inside, the nanoparticle, which the researchers call a "immunolipoplex," will deliver its payload -- the p53 gene whose protein helps to signal cells to self-destruct when they have the kind of genetic damage characterized by cancer and by cancer therapies.

More than half of all cancer patients have cancer cells that have lost normal functioning of the p53 gene, so-called "guardian of the genome," and the Georgetown researchers believe that restoring the gene will improve the tumor-killing ability of traditional treatments.

"We are excited about the promise this nanoparticle has shown in animal tumor models, and are anxious to offer it to patients," said Chang, Professor in the Department of Oncology and Co-director of the Molecular Targets & Developmental Therapeutics Program at Georgetown.

The federal Food and Drug Administration granted approval for the trial to begin in late July. The work is being sponsored by grants from the National Institutes of Health and private foundations. Additional support comes from SynerGene Therapeutics, a biotech research firm with which Chang collaborates.

John Marshall, M.D., Director of Developmental Therapeutics and GI Oncology at Georgetown, will serve as the trial’s principal investigator.

The researchers believe that immunolipoplex represents an advance over the viral "vectors" that have been used to deliver gene therapy, because these liposomes do not produce the kinds of immunologic response seen when disabled viruses are used to carry the payload. They also say that the nanoparticle is of a small uniform size and consistency, and has been proven to work in animals bearing tumor.

In preclinical research, Chang and long-term research colleague Kathleen Pirollo, Ph.D. have found that these nanoparticles substantially improve the tumor-fighting power of both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These agents work synergistically with traditional therapies because the newly restored p53 protein helps push cancer cells that are now damaged to self-destruct.

"We believe this approach will make it difficult for the cancer cells to become resistant to therapy," Chang said. "As a result, cancers treated with these liposomal formulations should be less likely to recur after therapy is complete."

For example, use of these p53-loaded liposomes in combination with radiation therapy eliminated prostate and head and neck tumors in mice, which then survived cancer-free for more than 200 days -- until they all died of old age. Similar promising results were seen when the nanoparticles were combined with chemotherapy to treat animal models of melanoma and aggressive breast cancer.

Among the solid tumors approved for testing in the clinical trial are head and neck, prostate, pancreatic, breast, bladder, colon, cervical, brain, melanoma, liver and lung cancers.

Laura Cavender | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.georgetown.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>