TAU: cancer drug ‘progress'

Researchers step closer to cancer prevention.

By
August 12, 2010 06:05
1 minute read.
The Jerusalem Post

laboratory 311. (photo credit: Bloomberg)

Tel Aviv University researchers claim to have developed an experimental drug used in a polymer delivery system that may make it possible someday to prevent cancer or turn malignant tumors into a chronic disease with which one could live for years.

The basic scientific discovery – which was carried out in mice and would take years to reach patients, if it reaches them at all – was published in the online edition of the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). It is yet another attempt to use drugs to stop angiogenesis – the production of new blood vessels that in this case nourish a tumor – with new a new polymer delivery system that brings drugs directly to the tumor.

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Dr. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro and colleagues at TAU’s Sackler Medical Faculty’s department of physiology and pharmacology and in the Free University of Berlin maintain that the experimental drugs do not harm healthy tissue, and that less chemotherapy is needed and fewer side effects are involved because of direct delivery to the cancerous tissue.

“It’s a breakthrough,” said Satchi-Fainaro on Channel 2 Wednesday.

The drugs are claimed to contain gene silencers of the siRNA type that fought the tumor cells by preventing angiogenesis without being toxic to the healthy cells in the mice. Satchi-Fainaro suggested that people who are not ill with cancer but are at high-risk to contract it because they carry mutant genes could eventually receive prophylactic treatment.

She said a “taxi” would deliver the drugs to the affected parts of the body. If the cancer appeared, she said, the drugs could hold the tumor in “hibernation” to turn the malignancy into a “manageable chronic disease” like diabetes.


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