Small RNA molecules for the treatment of stomach and lung cancer.
- Reduces growth survival or proliferation of neoplastic cells.
- Enhances the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs.
Uncontrolled cell growth and proliferation is a distinctive feature of cancer. As critical molecules in cell-cycle regulation, small, endogenous inhibitory molecules known as microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in regulating cell development and programmed cell death. MiRNAs are short, functional RNA molecules that regulate expression by binding to target nucleotide sequences and inhibiting gene expression. Since cancer involves aberrant cell growth and protein expression, miRNAs appear to play a critical role in human cancer progression and exhibit deregulated expression in human neoplasias.
Researchers at Emory have identified miRNA-xxxx, a novel miRNA located within the first intron of the fragile hisitdine triad gene (Fhit) which is down-regulated in human stomach and lung cancers. Moreover, expression of this miRNA in laboratory models results in reduced cancer cell growth and tumor size. In human neoplasia studies, the expression of oligonucleotides homologous to miRNA-xxxx enhances the efficacy of cancer treatments including chemotherapy and radiation therapy as well as reducing side effects, modifying drug bioavailability, and decreasing therapeutic dosage and frequency. These results are particularly encouraging in light of both stomach and lung cancers being insusceptible to chemotherapy treatment. Therefore, the use of this discovery could offer substantial benefit to these deadly malignancies where the five year survival rate is only 15%. By enhancing the efficacy of anti-cancer agents, the use of miRNA-xxxx could potentially increase survival and prognosis in these conditions.
In vivo proof of principles experiments demonstrate that use of oligonucleutides homologous to miRNA-xxxx results in a reduction in neoplastic cell proliferation and increased animal survival.