Scientists discover secret to turn back clock on ovarian cancer | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Scientists discover secret to turn back clock on ovarian cancer

A type of ribonucleic acid (RNA) can reverse the life cycle of ovarian cancer tumour to early stages when traditional chemotherapy works best, scientists have discovered, presenting a possible new approach to fighting the disease.

delhi Updated: Feb 04, 2011 21:26 IST
Charu Sudan Kasturi

A type of ribonucleic acid (RNA) can reverse the life cycle of ovarian cancer tumour to early stages when traditional chemotherapy works best, scientists have discovered, presenting a possible new approach to fighting the disease.

The discovery by American cancer researchers is significant because ovarian cancer is typically diagnosed only in its later stages, by when traditional chemotherapy often no longer works as treatment. The findings are published in Thursday’s edition of the reputed journal Gynecologic Oncology.

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) – one of the top engineering schools in the US – have found in tests that a regulatory RNA called miR-429 may help inducing spreading cancer cells to convert back into a less invasive form.

“Primary tumours are rarely fatal,” said John McDonald, Director of the Integrated Cancer Research Center at Georgia Tech.

In the tests, the scientists used two ovarian cancer cell lines, one with characteristics of primary tumours and the other with characteristics of metastasizing – spreading -- tumours. They used miR-429 and found it successful in helping cells turn back the clock, the researchers have said.

“We are hopeful that we have found an effective way to drive metastasizing ovarian cancer cells back to their primary cancer stage where they can be more effectively treated with existing chemotherapies,” McDonald said.