Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene therapy tested to protect bone marrow during chemotherapy

07.06.2004


Researchers at the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine and the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University and the Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals of Cleveland report progress toward the goal of employing gene therapy to help protect the bone marrow cells of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.



Stanton Gerson, M.D., professor of medicine, has been leading the effort to introduce a gene into bone marrow cells that would protect the cells against the debilitating effects of chemo, thereby helping the patients maintain greater strength following chemotherapy.

June 6, at the American Society of Gene Therapy meeting in Minneapolis, Gerson and colleagues will present preliminary results of a Phase I clinical trial to test the safety of the method in humans. The study found no complications in five patients who were tested thus far, and found up to 41 percent transfer of the protective gene to the bone marrow, or blood stem cells.


Gerson, who also directs the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, said, "The results are encouraging and will help move this novel approach into new therapies."

Gerson’s group, which includes Jane Reese and Omer Koc, M.D., has studied the gene mutant MGMT, that is able to protect stem cells from chemotherapy. In animal studies, they have found that this gene can provide stem cells with very high levels of survival advantage [more than 500 fold] compared to normal stem cells not carrying the gene.

Based on those preclinical animal results, they have begun this clinical trial in patients with advanced cancer. Blood stem cells are collected from patients and exposed to a retrovirus containing the gene, which inserts the gene into the cells. Patients are then infused with their own genetically-modified cells. Patients are then treated with combination chemotherapy. Because stem cells have the new gene, they are resistant to these chemotherapy agents.

This trial is unique because the patients do not undergo treatment to empty the bone marrow prior to cell infusion, which is the standard procedure. Instead, the intent is to "select" for the genetically altered cells with intermittent outpatient chemotherapy treatments, said Gerson.

So far, five patients have entered the trial at the Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals of Cleveland, all with advanced malignancies. Only one patient has been able to receive more than one dose of chemotherapy because the others had evidence of tumor growth and were switched to other therapies. In one patient, evidence of genetically altered cells was documented by molecular analysis in both the blood and marrow six weeks after the infusion.

Accrual for this study continues so that different levels of cell infusion and the impact of more doses of chemotherapy on the ability to select for the genetically altered stem cells can be assessed.

Future clinical trails with this stem cell gene may be used to improve treatments for patients with specific cancers and with inherited stem cell diseases.

George Stamatis | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cwru.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

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: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pressure tuned magnetism paves the way for novel electronic devices

18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

New type of low-energy nanolaser that shines in all directions

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA research reveals Saturn is losing its rings at 'worst-case-scenario' rate

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>