miR-744-3p as a Sensitizing Agent for Cancer Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy

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UNMET NEED: Ionizing radiation (IR) is a useful modality to treat multiple types of cancers that exerts its effect by causing DNA damage, in particular DNA double strand breaks (DSBs).Yet, tumor cells often present radiation protective phenotypes which can lead to IR treatment failure. Existing approaches to sensitize cancer cells to IR use RNA interference (RNAi) agents such as siRNA or shRNA. Here, for the first time specific microRNA (miRNA) is utilized as a means to sensitize cancer cells to radiation or chemotherapy.
  • Improves cancer therapeutic response to radiation or chemotherapy
  • The identified miRNA inhibits DNA repair processes by suppressing expression of several targets 
TECHNICAL DETAILS: Johns Hopkins researchers have identified certain miRNAs that exhibit significant radiosensitization of cancers to IR and chemotherapy. Both, miR-890 and miR-744-3p, were found to target multiple components of cell cycle progression and DNA repair. Their specific cellular targets were characterized and superior radiosensitization was recorded when compared to an siRNA against the same target. 
PATENT STATUS: Pending PCT Application WO 2016/149580
PUBLICATIONS: Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Apr 30;43(8):4075-86.
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Vera Sampels
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