A recent US study found that gene therapy may treat hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common liver cancer, and metabolic diseases including diabetes.
The University of California-Davis team developed a gene therapy that induces the body to manufacture microRNA-22 (miR-22), a naturally occurring molecule, to treat mice with hepatocellular carcinoma..
MiR-22 decreased liver inflammation and improved survival with no harm compared to lenvatinib, a US FDA-approved liver cancer medication.
“This research introduces miR-22 gene therapy as a promising and innovative approach for treating hepatocellular carcinoma,” said UC Davis Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Professor Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan.
The study reveals miR-22 therapy may boost metabolism, inflammation, survival, and anti-tumour immunity.
The journal Molecular Therapy reported that miR-22 brakes the manufacturing of cyclin A, protein deacetylases, and hypoxia-inducible factors, which cause liver cancer.
Wan’s earlier study reveals that gut microbiome metabolites promote miR-22 and fight cancer. These metabolites include vitamin D3, retinoic acid, short-chain fatty acids, and bile acids.
When colon or liver cancer patients have signals from these compounds, miR-22 is decreased.
This suggested to Wan that raising miR-22 levels may cure liver cancer.
Wan employed an inactivated adenovirus to administer miR-22 into mice intravenously.
Gene therapy animals were compared to mice treated with the US FDA-approved medication lenvatinib (given orally once a day), untreated mice, and healthy mice.
Similar to untreated animals, miR-22 and lenvatinib prevented liver cancer development. However, miR-22-treated mice survived longer without harm than lenvatinib-treated animals.
MiR-22 and lenvatinib enhanced liver function by lowering ALT, AST, and cholesterol. MiR-22-treated mice had no organ or blood toxicity.
Untreated mice had 33.5% of their body weight in livers at five weeks. The treated mice had smaller, less damaged livers with miR-22 and lenvatinib body weight ratios of 10.9 percent and 12.0 percent, respectively.
The median lenvatinib survival rate was 46 days and the miR-22 group 50 days.
Two miR-22-treated mice lived 60 days. In comparison, untreated mice survived 40 days.
“The positive findings from this preclinical study give us hope that miR-22 could be a promising alternative to treat hepatocellular carcinoma,” Hu added.
Gene therapy may cure metabolic illnesses including diabetes and hepatocellular carcinoma, a common liver cancer, according to a US research. A gene therapy from the University of California-Davis enables the body to produce microRNA-22 (miR-22), a naturally occurring molecule, to cure mice with hepatocellular carcinoma. MiR-22 decreased liver inflammation and improved survival without harm compared to lenvatinib, a US FDA-approved liver cancer medication. The study found that miR-22 works as a brake, halting the synthesis of cyclin A, protein deacetylases, and hypoxia-inducible factors that drive liver cancer development. The study used an inactivated adenovirus to administer miR-22 intravenously, and miR-22-treated mice survived longer without harm than lenvatinib-treated mice.