Tumor-fighting Protein, PTEN, Restored in Mice Prostate Cancer Models Using mRNA and Nanoparticles

Tumor-fighting Protein, PTEN, Restored in Mice Prostate Cancer Models Using mRNA and Nanoparticles
Messenger RNAs encoding for the PTEN protein that were carried in tiny nanoparticles to prostate cancer cells in a proof-of-concept study were able to destroy those cells, preventing tumor growth and progression in several mouse models of prostate cancer, researchers report. PTEN is a potent and well-characterized tumor-suppressor protein, and one encoded by a gene that is lost or mutated in about half of all advanced prostate cancers — aiding tumor cells in growing unchecked. Messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are molecules that contain instructions to make proteins. The study's findings, "Restoration of tumour-growth suppression in vivo via systemic nanoparticle-mediated delivery of PTEN mRNA​," were published in Nature Biomedical Engineering. The work was developed by ​a team of researchers from the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Boston Children's Hospital in collaboration with investigators from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. "The potential impact of this mRNA-based nanotherapeutic is that it offers a new strategy for cancer treatment and can complement currently available therapies such as target inhibitors," Jinjun Shi, PhD, an associate professor of Anesthesia at BWH and study author, said in a press release. "Loss o
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Joana is currently completing her PhD in Biomedicine and Clinical Research at Universidade de Lisboa. She also holds a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology from Universidade de Lisboa. Her work has been focused on the impact of non-canonical Wnt signaling in the collective behavior of endothelial cells — cells that make up the lining of blood vessels — found in the umbilical cord of newborns.

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