Nanoparticles studded with short RNA molecules can silence target genes in melanoma patients, demonstrating the clinical feasibility of these techniques for the first time, according to research published online today (March 21) in __Nature.__
"This is a breakthrough for the field," said John Rossi from the City of Hope Cancer Center, who was not involved in the study. It's the first clinical proof that "RNA is entering the tumor cells and delivering the goods" needed to reduce the expression of target cancer-genes, he said. While the result is clearly a boon for the fields of RNA interference (RNAi) and nanobiology, it remains to be seen whether the new therapy improves patient outcomes, scientists said. RNAi functions by binding to the mRNA transcript of a gene before it is translated into a protein and cutting it at a specific point in the sequence, thereby reducing the amount of...
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