Drug kills prostate tumor cells

August 11, 2006

U.S. scientists have developed an experimental RNA-based drug -- the first of its kind -- that kills prostate cancer cells, without harming normal cells.

The drug, developed at Duke University Medical Center, uses a type of genetic material, called targeting RNA, to enter cancer cells, and then another type, called silencing RNA, to stop the expression of a protein that keeps the cells alive.

In tests in mice with prostate cancer, the drug shrank the size of their tumors by half, while tumors in control mice continued to grow, said study co-author Bruce Sullenger, director of Duke's Translational Research Institute and chief of the Division of Experimental Surgery.

The mice showed no side effects from the treatment, Sullenger said.

"This study represents the first step in creating an RNA-based drug for cancer," said lead author James McNamara, a postdoctoral fellow in experimental surgery. "It provides a 'proof of principle' that an entirely RNA-based drug can work with minimal side effects, and it shows it is possible to overcome many of the obstacles that have hampered the development of RNA-based drugs."

The study is reported in the current issue of Nature Biotechnology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Privacy analysis shows battery status API as tracking tool

August 4, 2015

That same HTML5 battery status function that lets you see how you're doing and how much juice you have left could also leave you vulnerable: A Mashable senior editor, Stan Schroeder, reported Tuesday on a paper that shows ...

Galaxies show appetite for growth

August 4, 2015

The extent to which galaxies consume one another has been revealed in research. Findings from the study help to explain how galaxies such as the Milky Way were formed.

Can genes make us liberal or conservative?

August 4, 2015

Aristotle may have been more on the money than he realised in saying man is a political animal, according to research published Wednesday linking genes with liberal or conservative leanings.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.