Active antisense oligonucleotides directed against the insulin-like growth factor type I receptor (IGF-IR/AS ODN) have shown potential as an antitumour agent in animal studies. In April Journal of Clinical Oncology David Andrews and colleagues from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, describe their novel implantation of IGF-IR/AS ODN treated cells in patients with astrocytoma.

Andrews et al studied 12 patients treated by surgery for malignant astrocytoma. Glioma cells collected at surgery were treated ex vivo with an IGF-IR/AS ODN and reimplanted in the rectus sheath within 24 hours of craniotomy. Examination of the IGF-IR/AS ODN-treated cells after a 24-hour in situ incubation showed that only 2% were intact, and none of the intact cells were viable in culture thereafter. IGF-IR was down regulated to 10% after ex vivo antisense treatment (J Clin Oncol 2001, 19:2189-2200).

In addition clinical and radiographic improvements were observed in eight of 12 patients....

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