Gene Therapy Shows Early Efficacy Against Recurrent Brain Cancer

Excerpt:

“More than a quarter of patients with recurrent high-grade glioma, a form of brain cancer, treated with the retroviral vector Toca 511 and the prodrug of the chemotherapy 5-fluorouracil, Toca FC, were alive more than three years after treatment, according to data from a subset of patients in a phase I clinical trial presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, held Oct. 26-30.”

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Suicide Gene Therapy Kills Prostate Tumor Cells

“Results from a long-term clinical trial conducted by cancer researchers at Houston Methodist Hospital show that combining radiation treatment with “suicide gene therapy,” a technique in which prostate cancer cells are genetically modified so they signal a patient’s immune system to attack them, provides a safe and effective one-two punch against the disease.

 “The researchers compared two arms of  and report high five-year overall survival rates of 97 percent and 94 percent, respectively. That’s a five to 20 percent improvement for survival over historical studies. These findings are in the Dec. 12 online issue of the Journal of Radiation Oncology(JRO).”

Personalized Medicine Best Way to Treat Cancer, Study Argues

“Assessing the route to cancer on a case-by-case basis might make more sense than basing a patient’s cancer treatment on commonly disrupted genes and pathways, a new study indicates. “This paper argues for the importance of personalized medicine, where we treat each person by looking for the etiology of the disease in patients individually,” said the lead author. “The findings have ramifications on how we might best optimize cancer treatments as we enter the era of targeted gene therapy.”


Personalized Medicine Best Way to Treat Cancer, Study Argues

“Assessing the route to cancer on a case-by-case basis might make more sense than basing a patient’s cancer treatment on commonly disrupted genes and pathways, a new study indicates. “This paper argues for the importance of personalized medicine, where we treat each person by looking for the etiology of the disease in patients individually,” said the lead author. “The findings have ramifications on how we might best optimize cancer treatments as we enter the era of targeted gene therapy.”


Personalized Medicine Best Way to Treat Cancer, Study Argues

“Assessing the route to cancer on a case-by-case basis might make more sense than basing a patient’s cancer treatment on commonly disrupted genes and pathways, a new study indicates. “This paper argues for the importance of personalized medicine, where we treat each person by looking for the etiology of the disease in patients individually,” said the lead author. “The findings have ramifications on how we might best optimize cancer treatments as we enter the era of targeted gene therapy.”


Gene Mutations Play Important Role in Both Cancer Development and Treatment

Inherited genetic mutations–the kind that are passed on from parent to child and affect all cells in the body throughout an individual’s life–are only rarely the cause of cancer. More commonly, individual cells and tissues in a person’s body develop mutations during their lifetime, which can contribute to cancer development. Genes that normally regulate cell growth may cease to function, allowing cells to proliferate unchecked and form a tumor. A laboratory at the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center is investigating one such gene, known as either MDA-7 or IL-24, which is commonly inactive in a variety of cancers. Researchers aim to restore MDA-7/IL-24 function by “smuggling” healthy copies of the gene into tumor cells using viruses or by delivering purified MDA-7/IL-24 protein, the product of the MDA-7/IL-24 gene, into the cancer tissue. In other cases, genes that promote cell proliferation mutate to become hyperactive. One example is the MDA-9/syntenin gene, which can promote cancer spreading from its original site to other parts of the body. In these cases, drugs that block the function of the protein produced by the hyperactive gene can help curb cancer growth.


Gene Mutations Play Important Role in Both Cancer Development and Treatment

Inherited genetic mutations–the kind that are passed on from parent to child and affect all cells in the body throughout an individual’s life–are only rarely the cause of cancer. More commonly, individual cells and tissues in a person’s body develop mutations during their lifetime, which can contribute to cancer development. Genes that normally regulate cell growth may cease to function, allowing cells to proliferate unchecked and form a tumor. A laboratory at the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center is investigating one such gene, known as either MDA-7 or IL-24, which is commonly inactive in a variety of cancers. Researchers aim to restore MDA-7/IL-24 function by “smuggling” healthy copies of the gene into tumor cells using viruses or by delivering purified MDA-7/IL-24 protein, the product of the MDA-7/IL-24 gene, into the cancer tissue. In other cases, genes that promote cell proliferation mutate to become hyperactive. One example is the MDA-9/syntenin gene, which can promote cancer spreading from its original site to other parts of the body. In these cases, drugs that block the function of the protein produced by the hyperactive gene can help curb cancer growth.


Gene Mutations Play Important Role in Both Cancer Development and Treatment

Inherited genetic mutations – the kind that are passed on from parent to child and affect all cells in the body throughout an individual’s life – are only rarely the cause of cancer. More commonly, individual cells and tissues in a person’s body develop mutations during their lifetime, which can contribute to cancer development. Genes that normally function to regulate cell growth may cease to function, allowing cells to proliferate unchecked and form a tumor. A laboratory at the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center is investigating one such gene, known as either MDA-7 or IL-24, which is commonly inactive in a variety of cancers. Researchers aim to restore MDA-7/IL-24 function by “smuggling” healthy copies of the gene into tumor cells using viruses, or by delivering purified MDA-7/IL-24 protein, the product of the MDA-7/IL-24 gene, into the cancer tissue. In other cases, genes that promote cell proliferation mutate to become hyperactive. One example is the MDA-9/syntenin gene, which can promote cancer spreading from its original site to other part of the body. In these cases, drugs that block the function of the protein produced by the hyperactive gene can help curb cancer growth.