Suicide gene therapy targets prostate cancer cells

14 December 2015

Combining radiation treatment with so-called suicide gene therapy can help to tackle prostate cancer, a new study has found.

Scientists at Houston Methodist Hospital used the method to modify prostate cancer cells so they self-destruct - hence the name.

Survival rates in tests on two groups of patients are substantially higher than those in previous studies. As a result, researchers are confident they have devised a viable new treatment strategy.

Lead author Dr Bin Teh commented: "This is extremely pleasing to us, considering we had patients enrolled in our protocol after other physicians deemed them incurable."

Dr Brian Butler, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Houston Methodist, added that they have created a vaccine using the patient's own cancer cells and devised a treatment that complements what is achievable with traditional radiation and hormonal therapies.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 


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