Blocking PLK-1 to beat bladder cancer

03/03/05

Surgical removal of part of, or the entire, bladder is commonly used to treat bladder cancer, causing loss of urinary and sexual functions. Thus, novel therapeutic approaches are needed. In a study appearing online on March 10 in advance of publication in the April 1 print edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Takeshi Yuasa and colleagues from Kyoto University hospital use small interfering RNA (siRNA) technology to silence a gene that they believe to be involved in cancer progression.

The researchers have investigated the efficacy of polo like kinase-1 (PLK-1) siRNA against bladder cancer in mice. PLK-1 regulates cell division and its expression is correlated with a variety of human tumors. The authors put the siRNA into vesicles that can enter cells via their membranes to suppress the expression of PLK-1 in bladder cancer cells in a time and dose dependent fashion.

Intravesical administration of the PLK-1 inhibitor reduced cell proliferation and killed cancer cells. To validate the efficacy of the treatment in vivo, mice were implanted with bladder cancer cells, and PLK-1 siRNA prevented the growth of bladder cancer in this mouse model.

This interesting study shows that therapy to inhibit expression of PLK-1 could be an important strategy for the management of bladder cancer.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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