A new method of gene therapy of glioblastoma, the most aggressive and common form of brain cancer, was developed by the specialists of the International school of advanced studies in Trieste. At the moment tests show that the presented method can be very effective in the fight against the disease, surgical intervention in the treatment of which is often impossible.
The idea of the new methods has arisen from Antonello Mallamaci who is not an oncologist, but for a long time engaged in the study of a gene called Emx2 and discovered he had a number of important properties. Mallamaci, and his colleagues found that the activity of this gene is great at certain stages of development of the human embryo and promotes the formation of his brain neurons. Subsequently, the gene “switched off”, which greatly reduces the number of appearing neurons, but provokes the reproduction of cells called astrocytes, through which already existing neurons receive food. Astrocytes also participate in the protection of nerve cells.
Further study of the Emx2 gene has led experts to believe that if it is re-activated artificially, it will not only lead to the cessation of the production of astrocytes, but to stop the distribution of similar in the structure of the tumor cells. Finally, geneticists were able to find the DNA segment that allows you to activate Emx2 only in the infected cells without damaging healthy. This allowed the researchers to create a new method of gene therapy of glioblastoma.
Scientists say that their findings were in many ways confirmed in experiments “in vitro”, as well as tests on mice. This allows us to consider the developed methodology is very promising, say the experts, who published their study in the journal Oncotarget.Related posts: