Archive by date | October 2012

Lupus antibodies may provide new option for cancer therapies

Radiation and chemotherapy are sometimes not strong enough to conquer aggressive tumors, but a new method promises to help cancer treatment become more effective. The approach uses antibodies produced by the body when a person has Lupus, an autoimmune disorder that can affect the skin, joints, and other organs. These lupus antibodies can weaken cancerous cells by penetrating the cells’ nuclei and disrupting their DNA, priming the cells for destruction by radiation or chemotherapy, according to a preliminary study published in Science Translational Medicine on 24 October.  Read more

Sangamo tries its hand with zinc fingers for Huntington’s

NEW ORLEANS — Sangamo BioSciences, the Richmond, California company that has sped ahead with engineered ‘zinc fingers’, is pointing to these proteins as a powerful tools in treating an ever-increasing list of illnesses. Clinicians at the Glandular Disease Research Clinic in San Antonio, Texas, began testing Sangamo’s first therapeutic in 2006, in individuals with diabetic neuropathy, but this was halted in 2011 at the end of phase 2 clinical trials because there was insufficient evidence of its efficacy. At present, the company is involved in on-going clinical trials of zinc fingers for glioblastoma and HIV. It hopes to eventually add Huntington’s disease to that roster, thanks to encouraging data from tests on cells. But the ease of applying the zinc finger approach to diseases affecting the brain presents a more challenging endeavor.  Read more

Mouse stem cells manipulated to create egg-producing ovary

Mouse stem cells manipulated to create egg-producing ovary

From recent news about uterus transplants to controversy over the possibility of so-called ‘three-parent children’, the lengths to which modern medicine will go to achieve conception are increasingly expanding. Creating an ovary that can itself produce viable eggs might soon be added to that list.  Read more