Bone marrow cells given gene therapy 'shield'

Radiotherapy affects bone marrow cells, lowering production of white blood cells. New research, published in The Journal of Gene Medicine, suggests that pre-treatment with a gene therapy 'shield' could defend healthy bone marrow cells.

Photo: Bone marrow cells given gene therapy shield

Using an in vitro technique, a specifically engineered, non-harmful virus was designed to infect only bone marrow cells. The virus was further modified to carry a human gene that carries information on how to make the protein superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) - one of the body’s defence mechanisms that clears up harmful radicals, such as those caused by radiation damage. Bone marrow cells modified by the virus produce higher levels of SOD2 than usual.

The protein appeared to provide the cells with added protection against radiation, reducing the side effects of the treatment and allowing stronger doses to be used. ‘There is still a great deal of work to be done before we can start trying it in patients,’  said researcher Dr Thomas Southgate. ‘But the prospects are potentially very exciting.’

The team, based at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Manchester, hopes that eventually the discovery will yield pre-treatment protection.

01.07.2006

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

Combining MRI with particle beams

An important step towards live imaging in proton therapy

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) want to build the world’s first prototype that tracks moving tumors with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in real time during proton…

Photo

Curbing collaterals

High energy radiotherapy ‘paints’ tumours, avoids healthy tissue

A radiotherapy technique which ‘paints’ tumours by targeting them precisely, and avoiding healthy tissue, has been devised in research led by the University of Strathclyde. Researchers used a…

Photo

TARGIT-IORT vs. EBRT

Breast cancer radiotherapy: A single dose is often enough

For most women with early breast cancer, a single dose of targeted radiotherapy during surgery is just as effective as conventional radiotherapy, which requires several visits to hospital after…

Related products

Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

Research Use Only (RUO)

Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

SARSTEDT AG & CO. KG
Shimadzu – CLAM-2030

Research Use Only (RUO)

Shimadzu – CLAM-2030

Shimadzu Europa GmbH
Subscribe to Newsletter