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 Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>