Gene therapy technique developed to prevent cancer metastasis shows promise


The spread of malignant cells around the body, known as metastasis, is the leading cause of mortality in women with breast cancer.

Now, a new gene therapy technique being developed by researchers at MIT is showing promise as a way to prevent breast cancer tumors from metastasizing.

The treatment…uses microRNAs…to control metastasis.

The therapy could be used alongside chemotherapy to treat early-stage breast cancer tumors before they spread, according to Natalie Artzi, a principal research scientist at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES)….

“The idea is that if the cancer is diagnosed early enough, then in addition to treating the primary tumor [with chemotherapy], one could also treat with specific microRNAs, in order to prevent the spread of cancer cells that cause metastasis,” Artzi says.

“We are very excited about the results so far, and the efficacy seems to be really good. So the next step will be to move on to larger models and then to clinical trials, although there is still a long way to go,” Artzi says.

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