UCLA and City of Hope scientists use nanoparticles to shut down mechanism that drives cancer growth

When scientists develop cancer therapies, they target the features that make the disease deadly: tumor growth, metastasis, recurrence and drug resistance. In epithelial cancers — cancers of the breast, ovaries, prostate, skin and bladder, which begin in the organs’ lining — these processes are controlled by a genetic program called epithelial–mesenchymal transition. UCLA Jeffrey Zink Epithelial–mesenchymal transition is regulated by a protein called Twist, which means that Twist directly influences the development of cancer, its spread to other organs and its return after remission. In a major step toward developing a novel therapy that targets epithelial–mesenchymal transition, scientists from UCLA and City of Hope have become the first to inhibit the mechanism of Twist using nanoparticles to deliver a nucleic acid called small interfering RNA, or siRNA, into tumor cells. In mouse models, delivering siRNA into cancer cells inhibited the expression of Twist, which in turn reduced epithelial-mesenchymal transition and dramatically reduced the size of tumors. The study, which was published online in the journal Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, was led by Jeffrey Zink and Fuyu Tamanoi, both members of the California NanoSystems Institute and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA, and Carlotta Glackin of City of Hope Cancer Center. “We were truly surprised by the dramatic effect of delivering Twist siRNA,&r...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

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