12 May 2008

Plastic Surgery to aid gene therapy

It is believed that gene therapy is a promising therapeutic approach that will significantly increase the effectiveness of treating tumors and preventing their recurrence, but its use is still limited by serious side effects and the complexity of creating high concentrations of antitumor agents in the tumor area.

Scientists led by Dr. Geoffrey Gurtner, head of the Research Laboratory of Pediatric Surgery at Stanford Medical School (Stanford University School of Medicine Children's Surgical Research Lab), using a viral vector injected a gene encoding antitumor interleukin-12, not directly into the tumor, but into the blood vessels of the skin flaps of healthy rats. Sections of human adenocarcinoma consisting of about a million cells were previously introduced into the organisms of rat "patients", and after that part of the skin directly above the tumor was replaced with a skin flap, the cells of which synthesized transgenic interleukin.

This procedure reduced the size of tumors by an average of 79% compared to the size of tumors of control animals. This was due to the fact that part of the skin flap cells began to produce a large amount of interleukin-12 directly in the tumor area.

In addition, no serious side effects were observed in animals, noted with the systemic (using intravenous injections) use of interleukin-12 for the treatment of humans. The liver, lungs and spleen of the rats remained absolutely normal throughout the experiment.

The authors believe that the approach they have developed can be used to treat such types of cancer as breast cancer, head and neck cancer, tumors of the central nervous system, and in the future, possibly, diseases such as hemophilia, diabetes and various infections.

Portal "Eternal youth" www.vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of ScienceDaily


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