A recent preclinical study conducted by researchers at the Goethe-University Medical School in Germany has shown promising results in using mRNA injections to reduce aggressive ovarian tumors. The study focused on high-grade serous ovarian cancer, which is the most common and aggressive form of ovarian cancer.
The researchers targeted a gene called tumor protein p53 (TP53), which is frequently mutated and nonfunctional in aggressive ovarian cancer cases. Under normal conditions, this gene encodes a tumor-suppressing protein that prevents cells with damaged DNA from replicating and encourages DNA repair. The mutated gene is also common in other human and animal cancers.
The team produced small pieces of genetic material called mRNA in the lab and delivered them to ovarian tumor cells using artificial vehicles called liposomes. The goal was for the tumor cells to read the synthetic mRNA and produce functional tumor protein p53. The study found that the mRNA injections resulted in cell cycle arrest and cell death in the ovarian cancer cell cultures, indicating normal p53 function and tumor suppression.
In mice, the mRNA injections significantly slowed tumor growth and prevented the spread of the tumor in the cavity surrounding the abdominal organs. In contrast, mice that did not receive the mRNA injections had large tumor masses on the ovaries and secondary tumors on nearby organs.
If proven effective in humans, this mRNA injection treatment could be a significant advancement in the treatment of aggressive ovarian cancer. It could potentially boost the effectiveness of standard treatments such as chemotherapy. Additionally, mRNA manufacture is a relatively accessible and affordable process, as it does not require the use of live viruses or the manipulation of living cells. This could make the treatment more widely available and easier to produce on a large scale.
Furthermore, this study highlights the important role that tumor protein p53 plays in preventing DNA damage and cancer development. The findings could have implications beyond ovarian cancer and could potentially be used to treat other illnesses such as cardiac fibrosis and genetic blood disorders.
Overall, this preclinical study provides promising evidence for the potential of mRNA injections in reducing aggressive ovarian tumors and highlights the importance of further research and clinical trials to validate these findings in humans.