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Cancer gene therapy news backgrounder: New ideas fuel next generation gene therapy research

their genetic payload, which then disables the cancer.

So far, the therapy has been successfully tested in mice that have a variety of human solid cancers, such as ovarian, brain, breast and melanoma, and even blood-based leukemia.

"This drug delivery system is attracted to cancer cells no matter what form they are in or where they are," says Andreeff. He is planning to apply for federal permission to test the concept in patients with melanoma.

"We will need to optimize the genes that are delivered, and are building a program around that, but the most important discovery here is that these cells are capable of migrating from the bone marrow or blood circulation into tumors," says Andreeff.

"It is exciting because it is an entirely new approach that looks like it can be developed into a potent therapy," he says. "It's not just a twist of an old idea."


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Contact: Nancy Jensen
nwjensen@mdanderson.org
713-792-0655
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
5-May-2004


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