Japan Team Treats Refractory Cancer with Nucleic Acid Medicines

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, April 24 (Jiji Press)--A team of Japanese researchers said Wednesday they have created nanodevices to deliver nucleic acid medicines to tumor cells and treated brain cancer and pancreatic cancer in mice.

The team, led by Kanjiro Miyata, associate professor at the University of Tokyo, and joined by researchers from Nagoya University and the Kawasaki Institute of Industrial Promotion, said that in the foreseeable future a clinical trial is expected to be conducted with sufferers of a hard-to-treat type of breast cancer.

Details of the achievement were also reported online by British scientific journal Nature Communications.

Nucleic acid medicines, such as short ribonucleic acid and DNA with specific base sequences, can kill tumor cells if they hit the target cells after traveling through the vascular system. But in order to successfully deliver the medicines to the targets, they must be protected from enzymes that decompose nucleic acids.

Miyata and colleagues created Y-shaped polymeric delivery devices that can bind with nucleic acids in the blood to guard them against enzyme attacks. Each device measures about 20 nanometers in diameter. One nanometer is one billionth of a meter.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press