Tag Archives: Targeted Therapy

New Research: Programming DNA to Deliver Targeted Cancer Treatment

New Research: Programming DNA to Deliver Targeted Cancer Treatment
New Research: Programming DNA to Deliver Targeted Cancer Treatment

DNA carries the genetic information that makes you who you are. While DNA directs protein production by cells, scientists have discovered a way to turn DNA into an on/off switch for applications in cancer treatment.

DNA: A Protein Computer

In essence, DNA operates like a computer. Just as all digital data relies on various configurations of a two-component code, DNA uses different arrangements of a four-component code to determine which proteins need to be manufactured.

This similarity has given rise to a field called DNA computing. A research team at the University of Delaware recently engineered DNA strands with a code to create circuits programmed to open and close based on a specific logic.

Leveraging DNA Code

The next step was to make and purify the proteins that the scientists wanted to use. Once the custom-made DNA strands were received from the manufacturer, the proteins were attached to form protein-DNA conjugates.

When the DNA circuits were tested on both E. coli bacteria and human cells, the target proteins went through a series of stages just as they had been programmed to do.

Applications for Cancer Treatment

Once the DNA circuits proved to be successful, the UD team tested them with cancer prodrugs, which are inert until they’re metabolized into therapeutic form. The scientist designed DNA circuits to control the protein that triggers metabolism of the prodrug. Professor Wilfred Chen, lead author of the study, anticipates a future of “plug-and-play” DNA circuits.

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New Possible Cervical Cancer Treatments Focus on Cancer’s Energy Supply

New Possible Cervical Cancer Treatments Focus on Cancer's Energy Supply
New Possible Cervical Cancer Treatments Focus on Cancer’s Energy Supply

A new potential cervical cancer treatment is making waves. After decades of the same, largely unchanged treatment protocol, there may be a new hope on the horizon. A study conducted on mice by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has uncovered that cervical tumors that don’t respond to radiation are vulnerable to therapies that cut off cancer’s energy supply at the source.

Turning Cervical Cancer ‘Off’
The mice used in the study, implanted with human cervical cancer cells, provided some interesting data. When treated with a combination of radiation and 3 drugs designed to slow tumor metabolism, cancer’s ability to burn glucose and protect itself was shut down, thwarting cancer cell survival attempts.

The Sugar-Zapping Theory
Cancer cells take up glucose in larger amounts than normal tissues. Researchers in the study observed that tumors resisting treatment were those that took up a large deal of glucose prior to radiation therapy. On the hypothesis that sugar strengthens tumor resistance, they decided to delve closer into what would happen if that sugar uptake was inhibited.

Shocking Potential
With glucose eliminated as a food source, cancer cells must scavenge for sustenance. In typical treatment modalities, cancer will rally by hitting the cells’ metabolic pathways in two more ways simultaneously, making tumors vulnerable to their own self-created toxic stew.

Free radical toxicity escalates, eventually devastating the cancer cells. As healthy cells don’t rely on this fuel production pathway, no obvious negative side-effects were revealed. Future studies will explore this cancer treatment’s potential in HPV-induced cervical cancer.

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Molecularly Targeted Therapy – Considered Exciting Cancer News

Molecular Targeted Therapy Hit the Bulls Eye!
Molecular Targeted Therapy Hit the Bulls Eye!

Traditional cancer treatments often attack both cancer and healthy cells, resulting in debilitating side effects such as fatigue and weight loss. Doctors are excited about a revolutionary cancer treatment that specifically targets cancer cells.

Cancer Treatment that “Hits the Bullseye”

As implied by the name, molecularly targeted therapy involves drugs designed at the molecular level of the cell to attack and destroy specific types of cancer. Glivec (or Gleevec), also known as STI571, is the pioneering drug in this promising new therapy.

These so-called “designer drugs” begin with the identification of an abnormal molecule unique to a particular type of cancer. Scientists can then create a drug that interferes with the function of that molecule.

Glivec: Targeting Leukemia

Glivec has been found to be effective against chronic myeloid leukemia, also known as CML. Dr. Brian Druker, who led the research on Glivec, discovered that scientists have previously used STI571 to treat a rare gastrointestinal cancer that shares an enzyme related to one in CML.

Dr. Druker, who also serves as director of the leukemia program at the Oregon Health Sciences University, believes that STI571 can lead the way in finding the abnormalities in other types of cancer so they can also be treated with molecularly targeted therapy.

FDA approval of Glivec was fast-tracked and the drug is now available from Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Immunotherapy: Non-Toxic State-of-the-Art Cancer Treatment

Glivec and other new drugs have the medical community abuzz, but Issels® has experienced decades of success with our personally developed immunotherapy treatments. Visit our website to read and hear testimonials from patients of all ages with all types of cancer.