Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New hybrid virus provides targeted molecular imaging of cancer

24.04.2006
Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have created a new class of hybrid virus and demonstrated its ability to find, highlight, and deliver genes to tumors in mice.

Researchers say the advance, reported in the journal Cell, is potentially an important step in making human cancer both more visible and accessible to treatment; it may also allow prediction and monitoring of how specific anti-cancer agents are actually working.

"In tumor-bearing mice, we show that this hybrid virus can target tumors systemically to deliver an imaging or therapeutic gene," says the co-leader of the study, Renata Pasqualini, Ph.D., professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology. "The signal is specific only to tumors, so one can monitor drug effectiveness at the molecular level."

The team created and characterized the hybrid viruses by combining genetic elements and biological attributes of an animal virus (adeno-associated virus, or AAV) with those of a bacterial virus (phage). Unlike animal viruses that infect mammalian cells, bacterial viruses have evolved to infect only bacterial hosts. The paper shows how particles of the hybrid virus, called AAV phage or AAVP, can serve as a vehicle for targeted delivery of genes to experimental tumors in mice and to the tumors’ blood vessel supply, providing a strategy for finding tumors and genetically marking them for imaging on a clinic-ready body scanner.

The AAVP hybrid combines the ability of the bacterial virus to target specific tissues with the capability of the mammalian virus to actually deliver genes to cells. The crucial vehicles, or vectors, in the AAVP hybrid retained the properties of their respective parental viruses, which the researchers called a surprising outcome.

"This is only a proof-of-concept, and although we have yet to translate these hybrid viruses for use in humans, we hope that this new system will have future clinical applications," says Wadih Arap, M.D., the co-leader of the study and professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology. "In addition to the obvious biological interest, when the vector is refined for patient use, it could perhaps help us diagnose, monitor and treat human tumors more accurately."

The finding is the latest in a series of studies by Pasqualini and Arap that are built around their discovery that the human vasculature system contains unique molecular addresses. Organs and specialized tissues also have specific "zip codes" on their blood vessels, as do tumor blood vessels. Knowing this, Pasqualini and Arap designed, constructed, evaluated, and validated the targeted AAVP system over the past several years. Amin Hajitou, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow in the Arap/Pasqualini laboratory and first author of the Cell study says, "we were pleased by the strong effects of gene transfer in mouse models of common diseases such as breast and prostate cancer."

Their next step was to work closely with the team of M. D. Anderson researcher Juri Gelovani, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Experimental Diagnostic Imaging, a pioneer in development of molecular-genetic imaging tools.

"We could see by using positron emission tomography that the reporter and therapeutic genes were being expressed throughout the tumors in the animals," Gelovani says. "This is an example of the so-called "theragnostic" approach, a combination of the words therapeutic and diagnostic."

Next, the international collaborative research team plans to evaluate the safety and efficacy of other hybrid vectors in animal models. The ultimate goal is to adapt and optimize the AAVP-based targeting prototype for use in patients.

Nancy Jensen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mdanderson.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Straight to the heart
24.06.2019 | Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

nachricht Fungus produces highly effective surfactant
21.06.2019 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IDMT demonstrates its method for acoustic quality inspection at »Sensor+Test 2019« in Nürnberg

From June 25th to 27th 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau (Germany) will be presenting a new solution for acoustic quality inspection allowing contact-free, non-destructive testing of manufactured parts and components. The method which has reached Technology Readiness Level 6 already, is currently being successfully tested in practical use together with a number of industrial partners.

Reducing machine downtime, manufacturing defects, and excessive scrap

Im Focus: Successfully Tested in Praxis: Bidirectional Sensor Technology Optimizes Laser Material Deposition

The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.

Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Non-invasive view into the heart

24.06.2019 | Medical Engineering

Fingerprint spectroscopy within a millisecond

24.06.2019 | Trade Fair News

Straight to the heart

24.06.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>