A new gene therapy technique being developed by researchers at MIT is showing promise as a way to prevent breast cancer tumors from metastasizing. The treatment, described in a paper published today in the journal Nature Communications, uses microRNAs — small noncoding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression — to control metastasis.
The therapy could be used alongside chemotherapy to treat early-stage breast cancer tumors before they spread, according to Natalie Artzi, a principal research scientist at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who led the research in collaboration with Noam Shomron, an assistant professor on the faculty of medicine at Tel-Aviv University in Israel.
“The basic idea is that if the cancer is diagnosed early enough, then in addition to treating the primary tumor with chemotherapy, one could also treat with specific microRNAs, in order to prevent the spread of cancer cells that cause metastasis,” Artzi says. The regulation of gene expression by microRNAs is known to be important in preventing the spread of cancer cells. Recent studies by the Shomron team in Tel-Aviv have shown that disruption of this regulation, for example by genetic variants known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), can have a significant impact on gene expression levels and lead to an increase in the risk of cancer.
To identify the specific microRNAs that play a role in breast cancer progression and could therefore potentially be used to suppress metastasis, the research teams first carried out an extensive bioinformatics analysis. They compared three datasets: one for known SNPs; a second for sites at which microRNAs bind to the genome; and a third for breast cancer-related genes known to be associated with the movement of cells.
This analysis revealed a variant, or SNP, known as rs1071738, which influences metastasis. They found that this SNP disrupts binding of two microRNAs, miR-96 and miR-182. This disruption in turn prevents the two microRNAs from controlling the expression of a protein called Palladin. Previous research has shown that Palladin plays a key role in the migration of breast cancer cells, and their subsequent invasion of otherwise healthy organs.
When the researchers carried out in vitro experiments in cells, they found that applying miR-96 and miR-182 decreased the expression of Palladin levels, in turn reducing the ability of breast cancer cells to migrate and invade other tissue. “Previous research had discussed the role of Palladin in controlling migration and invasion (of cancer cells), but no one had tried to use microRNAs to silence those specific targets and prevent metastasis,” Artzi says. “In this way we were able to pinpoint the critical role of these microRNAs in stopping the spread of breast cancer.”
La Organización Mundial de la Salud advirtió que una de cada nueve muertes en el mundo es a causa de la exposición a la contaminación del aire. Casi no existen ciudades en el mundo donde la contaminación no sea un problema.
In a systematic review, Su Golder and colleagues study the completeness of adverse event reporting, mainly associated with pharmaceutical interventions, in published articles as compared with other information sources.
En el siguiente artículo se reflexiona sobre la evolución de la terminología y consideración del concepto autismo. Fuente: elcajondekrusty.com Interesante artículo el que exponemos a continuación, de Josep Artigas-Pallarès, Isabel Paula. El autismo 70 años después de Leo Kanner y Hans Asperger. Rev. Asoc. Esp. Neuropsiq., 2012; 32 (115), 567-587 cuya lectura nos aportará una visión …
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