'Seek-and-destroy' cancer gene therapy results in 90pct success rate

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London, Apr 22 (ANI): Scientists have identified a "seek-and-destroy" technique for delivering genes to hard-to-reach tumours without harming healthy tissue.

During lab tests, the therapy by researchers at Strathclyde University in Glasgow resulted in 90 percent of skin cancer tumours disappearing altogether.

The team is now investigating the technique's effectiveness at treating different forms of the disease.

Currently, most gene therapies cannot be delivered to tumours without harming surrounding healthy tissue.

The researchers, led by Dr Christine Dufes, accomplished this by using the plasma protein transferrin, which carries iron through the blood.

Carrier proteins for transferrin are often found in large amounts in cancers.

During initial tests on skin cancer cells, the researchers found that the treatment led to a rapid and sustained regression of the tumours over one month, without any apparent signs of toxicity.

In 90 percent of cases, the tumours completely disappeared.

"This therapeutic system gave very promising results on cancer treatment in the initial tests we have done," the BBC quoted Dufes as saying.

"To be able to make tumours not just shrink but vanish is a great breakthrough for us, particularly as there's currently no gene therapy of this kind on the market for intravenous administration.

"We have so far tested this seek-and-destroy system in laboratory settings on just one type of cancer - skin cancer- but are currently investigating its efficacy in different cancer models," she added.

The research has been published in the latest edition of the Journal of Controlled Release. (ANI)

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