A team of researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of North Texas Health Science Center, has discovered that artificial High-density lipoprotein (HDL) nanoparticles filled with interfering RNA destroyed ovarian cancer in mice. The research paper has been published in the April issue of Neoplasia.
Anil Sood, senior author and MD Anderson's director of Ovarian Cancer Research and co-director of the Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA at MD Anderson says combining siRNA with HDL will help move the molecules to the target tumors. Sood and Andras Lacko, professor of Molecular Biology and Immunology at UNT Health Science Center, have created the nanoparticles.
Cancer cells attract and search for HDL by secreting high levels of its receptor, SR-B1. As cancer cells absorb HDL, they multiply. Both the uterus and liver produce the SR-B1 receptor. This attraction for cancer cells safeguards normal, healthy cells from side effects. According to Sood, if siRNA is not present in a nanoparticle, it gets fragmented and excreted. The artificial HDL known as rHDL is stable. rHDL remains in the blood stream longer. Since SR-B1 exists in the liver, rHDL isolates and treats metastasis to that organ. The siRNA/rHDL shrinks tumors by 60 to 80%. Using it with chemotherapy shrank tumors by 90%.
This research was funded by GCF Molly-Cade, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Defense, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Zarrow Foundation, The Marcus Foundation, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center SPORE in Ovarian Cancer, the Betty Ann Asche Murray Distinguished Professorship, Deborah Gonzalez Women's Health Fellowship Award, the Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cowtown Cruisin' for the Cure and a HER grant from the University of North Texas Health Science Center.