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[2014/01/23] Press Conference on the Discovery of the Key Factor Mediating Glioblastoma Recurrence Leading to Novel Therapeutic Prospect

[2014/01/23]

Press Conference on the Discovery of the Key Factor Mediating Glioblastoma Recurrence Leading to Novel Therapeutic Prospect

A press conference was held on January 13th in the Library and Information Building for Dr. Shih-Hwa Chiou's breaking discovery on the key factor mediating glioblastoma (GBM) recurrence. Prof. Kung-Yee Liang (President of National Yang Ming University), Dr. Shung-Tai Ho (Vice Director of Taipei Veterans General Hospital), Prof. Shing-Jong Lin (Director of the Office of Research and Development), Chief & Dr. Yang-Hsin Shih (Director of Neurological Institute), Dr. Ming-Deh Chen (Chief of Neurological Intensive Care Unit), Dr. Shih-Hwa Chiou (Professor in the Dept. of Pharmacology), Dr. Chien-Hsu Jien (Dept. of Pharmacology), and Dr. Guang-Yu Chiou (Dept. of Pharmacology) were presented in the press conference to announce Dr. Chiou's discovery of miR142-3p as a key mediator of GBM malignancy, and the plan of developing miR142-3p as an injectable therapeutic agent for GBM patients. Dr. Chiou's discovery has enlightened the clinical application prospect of novel GBM therapy, and has drawn a lot of attention from the media in the conference.

"There are around 300 new brain cancer cases in Taiwan each year," said Dr. Chiou, "and up to 40% of them are GBM, the most difficult type of brain tumor to tackle with". Once the patients are diagnosed as GBM, their survival time is hardly exceeded 2 years. The current therapeutic treatment costs as high as 200 thousand NT dollars and prolongs patient survival only 2.5 months.

Dr. Chiou's team has spent several years before they found the key player of GBM recurrence, miR142-3p. miR142-3p is able to regulate the properties of self-renewal and proliferation in GBM. Suppressed expression of miR142-3p leads to the recurrence and progression of GBM; while reconstitution of miR142-3p expression to a normal level would block the protein synthesis pathway of IL-6, HMGA2, and Sox2 in GBM, and prevent GBM recurrence.

However, small molecule like miR142-3p is easy to be degraded decomposed; therefore it needs protective vector to make sure successful delivery to the target site. Dr. Chiou's team developed a PU-PEI delivery system that is able to transport small RNA, like miR142-3p, to cancer stem cells, where miR142-3p exerts its effect to suppress tumor growth and cancer stemness, and increase cellular sensitivity to therapeutic drugs. The PU-PEI system has been successful granted with USA patent.

Dr. Chiou's team injected miR142-3p in the brain of immunocompromised mice transplanted with GBM cells, and found that 6 weeks after injection, miR142-3p reduced the tumor mass up to 70-80% compared with the controls. Clinical trial of miR142-3p in patients is now under application. Dr. Chiou said that miR142-3p is expected to be further developed as a prognostic marker and novel therapeutic reagent for GBM patients. These data has been published in the prestigious international medical journal, Molecular Cell.

The reporters interviewing Dr. Chiou

The reporters interviewing Dr. Chiou


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