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Posted: November 20, 2008
Nanoparticle targets cancer with siRNA
(Nanowerk News) Research has shown that a particular receptor for the blood protein thrombin is overexpressed by highly metastatic melanoma cells. When activated, this receptor triggers a wide range of biochemical changes that increase the metastatic activity of melanoma cells. To prevent those biochemical changes from occurring, a team of investigators at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has developed a small interfering RNA (siRNA) agent designed to prevent melanoma cells from making this receptor, which is known as PAR-1, and used a lipid-based nanoparticle to deliver this agent to melanoma cells.
Using this formulation to treat mice with melanoma, the researchers demonstrated that the nanoparticle was taken up by the tumors and that PAR-1 production dropped dramatically. As a result, twice-weekly injections of this formulation significantly inhibited melanoma growth and dramatically reduced the incidence of metastasis as measured by the number of metastatic lesions in the animals’ lungs. The researchers also noted that the PAR-1 siRNA was able to significantly reduce the amount of tumor-triggered angiogenesis in the treated animals.