Attempts to improve the chemotherapeutic efficacy and radiotherapy-sensitivity of the anticancer agent, gemcitabine, using gene therapy have yielded interesting results in preclinical glioma models presented at the 13th European Cancer Conference (ECCO).
Investigators took the enzyme that activates gemcitabine, deoxycytidine kinase (dCK) and inserted it into a viral carrier – Ad-dCK. In vitro assay cells from mice, rats and humans, and mice infected with glioma (tumours originating from the spinal cord or brain) were then infiltrated with this gene therapy. Assay cells were subsequently treated with gemcitabine and irradiated. Tumour-bearing mice received an intraperitoneal injection of gemcitabine followed by local tumour irradiation. As gemcitabine is an anticancer agent with established efficacy, use of gene therapy to increase its enzymatic activation was hypothesised to offer potential improvements in chemo- and radiotherapy efficacy.
In vitro findings from the three different experimental glioma varied considerably. In the G1261 mouse cellular assay, increased levels of dCK enzyme activity failed to increase gemcitabine toxicity - although gemcitabine itself had a minor radiosensitising effect. Conversely, in rat C6 and 9L glioma cells, elevated dCK levels were found to substantially improve both gemcitabine toxicity and the radiosensitising effect.
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25.09.2017 | University of Maryland
Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
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25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy