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article imageBreakthrough in Ovarian Cancer Treatment

By Saikat Basu     Mar 3, 2008 in Health
Dr. Anil Sood and his team of researchers have achieved a medical breakthrough in ovarian cancer treatment. Dr Anil Sood is the professor of M. D. Anderson Gynecologic Oncology and Cancer Biology Department, University of Texas.
A scientist of Indian origin, Dr Anil Sood has developed a treatment against ovarian cancer that promises a cure against the diesease which is a leading cause of cancer death in woman. Dr Anil Sood is the professor of M. D. Anderson Gynecologic Oncology and Cancer Biology Department. The doctor and his team has narrowed down on Interleukin-8 (IL-8) protein as a potential target in ovarian cancer patients. The team has developed a short interfering RNA product that shuts off the IL-8 and thus attacks the tumour by inhibiting its blood supply. The siRNA's are short, double stranded bits of RNA capable of halting the biological processes of IL-8. His research demonstrates that high IL-8 expression in tumours is associated with the advanced stage of tumour growth and early death for ovarian cancer patients. To focus on IL-8's role in ovarian cancer, researchers analysed tumours from 102 patients.
In conducted lab experiments Dr. Sood and his team confirmed that a specific RNA (siRNA) product silences IL-8 and then they tested it against two types of ovarian cancer in mice. The researchers observed that tumours shrank by a median of 32 per cent and 52 per cent in the two cancer lines among mice that received injections of the IL-8 targetting siRNA. Also, animals receiving both the IL-8 siRNA and a taxane-based chemotherapy drug Docetaxel had median tumour weight reduction of 90 per cent and 98 per cent in the two cell lines. Upon testing the approach in mice with an ovarian cancer cell line known to be resistant to taxane-based drugs, the researchers observed that IL-8 siRNA alone reduced the size of these tumours by 47 per cent, and by 77 per cent when combined with docetaxel.
"These are encouraging results. We want to move one of our siRNA agents into the clinic to test its potential for therapy, and then in the longer term, we'll consider moving additional siRNA agents into the clinical arena," Dr. Sood said.
As IL-8 is predominant in many types of cancer and has previously been shown to promote tumour growth and the spread of cancer to other organs, the findings can have far reaching applications in other types of cancer as well.
Ovarian cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in women. It is often detected in advanced late stages. Initial treatment involves surgery and taxane or platinum based chemotherapy treatments that keeps the cancer at bay. But relapse is common and is often lethal.
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