Cancer stem cells are currently thought to be major participants in resistance to radiation therapy and chemotherapy; they are also thought to drive the spread of cancer through metastasis. It has been postulated that genes involved in early embryogenesis, primarily transcription factor Nanog but also Oct4 and SOX2, may be reactivated to maintain the properties of cancer stem cells, any treatment that inhibits such genes may therefore inhibit the progression of cancer and lead to improved survival and other clinical outcomes.
NCI scientists are developing a unique inhibitory RNA molecule that specifically targets NanogP8, which is upregulated in human colorectal cancer spheroids, human prostate cancer and glioblastomas. The discovery may improve the safety of a shRNA-based gene therapy and improve its chances for acceptance as a clinical therapy.
- Improve the safety of a shRNA-based gene therapy and improve its chances for acceptance as a clinical therapy.
- Novel cancer target given that NanogP8 is the only cancer-promoting retrogene exclusive to humans.
- Potential new therapy that targets colorectal cancer as well as other cancers.
- Specifically knocks down expression of NanogP8 without interfering with expression of Nanog.
John Jessup (NCI), Jingyu Zhang (NCI)
- U.S. Patent Issued: U.S. Patent Number