New discovery may help in the fight against ovarian cancer

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Washington, Feb 4 (ANI): A new study has found that that a type of regulatory RNA may be effective in fighting ovarian cancer.

Scientists at the Ovarian Cancer Institute Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found in initial tests that a regulatory RNA called miR-429 may be successful in inducing metastatic or spreading cancer cells to convert back to a less metastatic, non-invasive form.

This new discovery may allow physicians to turn back the clock of the tumor's life cycle to a phase where traditional chemotherapy can better do its job.

"Most cancer patients succumb because the cancer metastasizes, and current chemotherapies are not designed to kill metastasizing cancer cells," said John F. McDonald, of the Integrated Cancer Research Center in Georgia Tech's School of Biology.

Cancer cells exist in two forms: epithelial cancer cells and mesenchymal cancer cells.

In the new trial, McDonald's lab used two ovarian cancer cell lines, one with epithelial characteristics, like primary tumor cells, and the other with mesenchymal traits, like metastasizing cancer cells.

They used miR-429, one of a family of microRNAs previously implicated in epithelial to mesencymal changes in other cancers, to see if it could turn the mesenchymal cancer cells back into epithelial cancer cells.

They found that miR-429 was highly successful in helping cells turn back the clock.

"We found that when we introduced miR-429 into the highly metastatic ovarian cancer cells, they became less invasive, less migratory and more like the cancer cells associated with primary tumors," said McDonald.

The findings appeared online in the journal Gynecologic Oncology. (ANI)

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