An inhalable Nasal spray will soon be available, based on gene therapy for fighting lung cancer, described scientists. It was reported that in a study mice with lung cancer were treated with a viral vector, which was vaporized, twice a week for four weeks. These rats had smaller tumors than the untreated mice. Scientists found that there was an increase in apoptosis (programmed cell death) in treated mice which was necessary for healthy tissues and suppression of production of proteins that contribute to cancer cell growth.
This study was done by researchers at Seoul National University in Korea and was published in the June 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. A entiviral vector, derived from a retrovirus, was used by the researchers during the study, which was able to infect non-dividing cells causing lasting genetic changes. Researchers divided mice into three groups: one received the aerosolized CTMP vector, one received the vector alone and one third were untreated. The mice treated by the CTMP vector had significantly fewer, smaller tumors. Globally, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths. Most treatments, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, slow progression of the disease only temporarily. While much research is underway on the use of gene therapy to treat lung cancer, one stumbling block has been finding delivery mechanisms that work.