AIChE Journal Highlight: Non-Viral Gene Delivery for Cancer Therapy


As researchers gain more insight into the molecular basis of cancer cell genesis, proliferation, and metastasis, gene therapy has emerged as a promising strategy for cancer treatment. In particular, the non-viral delivery of therapeutic nucleic acid cargo using polymeric nanoparticles can be a safer and more effective way to treat diseases such as brain cancer, say Yuan Rui, Gabriella QuiÑones, and Jordan Green of Johns Hopkins Univ. in the May AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Biodegradable and Bioreducible Poly(Beta-Amino Ester) Nanoparticles for Intracellular Delivery to Treat Brain Cancer.”

In their article, the authors discuss the challenges to successful gene delivery and strategies to overcome them using polymeric nanoparticles, with an emphasis on the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). GBM is an extremely deadly form of brain cancer that claims the lives of 15,000 Americans each year. Median survival after surgery and chemotherapy is less than two years.

Gene therapy, in which exogenous nucleic acids are introduced into the cell to alter gene expression, is a promising way to treat GBM, because it could selectively kill off cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue...

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