Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cancer pain control possible with gene therapy

15.10.2002


Mouse studies indicate successful pain relief, University of Pittsburgh researchers say



By "programming" a herpes simplex virus to deliver a gene-mediated pain-blocking protein at the cellular level, University of Pittsburgh researchers have been able to significantly reduce cancer-related pain in mice with tumors, the researchers report in the November issue of the journal Annals of Neurology. The paper, "Herpes vector-mediated expression of proenkephalin reduces bone cancer pain," is now available online at the journal’s Web site, http://www.interscience.wiley.com/jpages/0364-5134/.

"Chronic pain is notoriously difficult to treat effectively," said co-author Joseph Glorioso, Ph.D., chairman of the department of molecular genetics and biochemistry and director of the Molecular Medicine Institute at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and president of the American Society of Gene Therapy. "We’ve been able to show that using this virus can significantly reduce bone cancer pain – at least in mice."


The investigators are pursuing necessary approvals to begin a clinical trial in patients with severe pain resulting from metastatic cancer, and hope to start enrolling patients sometime next year.

"We are excited about the possibility that this approach may help to control pain in patients who can’t get complete relief from the maximum current treatment," said senior author David Fink, M.D., professor of neurology and molecular genetics and biochemistry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and chief of neurology and director of the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center at the Veterans Administration Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

Drs. Fink, Glorioso and their colleagues created an inactivated herpes simplex virus that carries the human gene for proenkaphalin, a naturally occurring painkilling peptide, a combination of amino acids.

Mice with tumors in a leg bone that received injections with the altered virus showed a substantial and significant reduction in pain-related behavior, the authors report.

"Although we have many powerful medications to treat pain, unwelcome side effects of these drugs limit our ability to relieve the most severe painful conditions," said Dr. Fink. "Using the virus to deliver the natural painkilling peptide may help in those cases."

These undesirable side effects can include excessive drowsiness, constipation and difficulty urinating.

"It remains to be seen how effective this may be in humans," said Dr. Glorioso. "But what we have seen so far is encouraging."


In addition to Drs. Fink and Glorioso, other authors include James Goss, Ph.D.; Marina Mata, M.D.; Cara Harley, B.S.; Xiaoping Hu and William Goins, Ph.D.

Additional Contact:
Michele D. Baum
Alan Aldinger
PHONE: (412) 647-3555
FAX: (412) 624-3184
E-MAIL:
BaumMD@upmc.edu
AldiAL@upmc.edu

Michele Baum | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.interscience.wiley.com/jpages/0364-5134/
http://www.upmc.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Sugar entering the brain during septic shock causes memory loss
23.04.2019 | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

nachricht Deep stimulation improves cognitive control by augmenting brain rhythms
04.04.2019 | Picower Institute at MIT

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
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

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Marine Skin dives deeper for better monitoring

23.04.2019 | Information Technology

Geomagnetic jerks finally reproduced and explained

23.04.2019 | Earth Sciences

Overlooked molecular machine in cell nucleus may hold key to treating aggressive leukemia

23.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>