Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Gene Therapy for Salivary Gland Shows Promise

Published: Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Bookmark and Share
An experimental trial showed that gene therapy can be performed safely in the human salivary gland.

The accomplishment may one day lead to treatments to help head and neck cancer survivors who battle with chronic dry mouth.

People with head and neck cancer often receive radiation therapy to shrink their tumors. The radiation can damage salivary glands, reducing their ability to secrete saliva into the mouth. Saliva is needed for taste, swallowing and speech. It also helps prevent infection and tooth decay. Salivary glands may partly recover after radiation therapy, but recovery is usually not complete. Doctors have limited options to offer most patients.

In the early 1990s, as the first gene therapy studies entered research clinics, Dr. Bruce Baum of NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) saw the potential of gene therapy to restore saliva secretion in salivary glands. He and his colleagues have been working for years to restore saliva secretion in animal models. By delivering the gene for a protein called aquaporin-1 into salivary gland cells, they restored saliva secretion in animal models. Aquaporin-1 forms pore-like water channels in cell membranes to help move fluid—such as when salivary gland cells secrete saliva into the mouth.

In 2008, the scientists treated the first patients in a small clinical trial designed to assess safety, work out dosage and identify side effects. The team included investigators from NIDCR, NIH's National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the NIH Clinical Center.

Eleven head and neck cancer survivors received a single-dose infusion directly into one of their 2 parotid salivary glands, the largest of the major salivary glands. The aquaporin-1 gene was packaged in a disabled adenovirus, which causes the common cold when intact. The disabled virus served as a delivery vehicle, or vector, entering cells that line the salivary gland and transferring the gene within. Once inside, the gene is turned on, or expressed, and directs the cells to make aquaporin-1.

The scientists reported on November 20, 2012, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that 6 of the 11 treated participants had increased levels of saliva secretion. Five also reported a renewed sense of moisture and lubrication in their mouths over the initial 42-day study period. There were no serious side effects.

The researchers tested 4 different doses of virus in the trial. Neither of the 2 people receiving the highest dose showed any benefit from the procedure. This and other observations suggest that higher doses of this virus may backfire, causing the immune system to launch an attack and prevent gene transfer.

“It is time to evaluate a different vector to deliver the aquaporin-1 gene, one that will cause only a minimal immune response,” Baum says.

Because of safety concerns, the researchers used a virus that causes only short-lived gene expression. Future research will be needed to develop methods that not only avoid an immune response but are also capable of longer-lived expression in salivary glands.

“These data will serve as stepping stones for other scientists to improve on this first attempt in the years ahead,” says Baum. “The future for applications of gene therapy in the salivary gland is bright.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

NIH Researchers Identify Striking Genomic Signature for Cancer
Institute has identified striking signature shared by five types of cancer.
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Genetic Cause of Rare Allergy
Institute has identified a genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of inherited hives induced by vibratory urticaria.
Friday, February 05, 2016
Drug Combination May be Highly Effective in Recurrent Ovarian Cancer
The drugs were tested in a phase I combination study followed by a randomized phase 2 trial.
Monday, June 02, 2014
TCGA Bladder Cancer Study Reveals Potential Drug Targets, Similarities to Several Cancers
Investigators have identified new potential therapeutic targets for a major form of bladder cancer, including important genes and pathways that are disrupted in the disease.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Gene Variants Found Associated With Human Immune System, Autoimmune Disease
Numerous studies have reported that certain diseases are inherited. But genetics also plays a role in immune response, affecting our ability to stave off disease.
Friday, September 27, 2013
NIH Program Explores the Use of Genomic Sequencing in Newborn Healthcare
Can sequencing of newborns’ genomes provide useful medical information beyond what current newborn screening already provides?
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Clues to Congenital Heart Disease
Non-inherited mutations in hundreds of genes together account for about 1 in 10 cases of severe congenital heart defects.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Gene Therapy Restores Sense of Smell in Mice
Mice that were unable to smell from birth gained the ability to smell when researchers used gene therapy to regrow structures called cilia on cells that detect odor.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Researchers Discover Key Mutation in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Researchers have discovered mutations in a particular gene that affects the treatment prognosis for some patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), an aggressive blood cancer that kills 9,000 Americans annually.
Monday, November 15, 2010
NIH Launches Genotype-Tissue Expression Project
Project to chart influence of DNA changes on gene function in human tissues and organs.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Gene Variations that Alter Key Enzyme Linked to Prostate Cancer
Ties found previously for susceptibility to testicular cancer, adrenal gland tumors.
Monday, October 04, 2010
NCBI Launches the Database of Genomic Structural Variations
A new tool to aid in understanding the genetics of health and disease.
Friday, October 01, 2010
NIH Expands Network Focused on How Genes Affect Drug Responses
NIH plans to spend $161.3 million over the next five years to expand the Pharmacogenomics Research Network.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Gene Scan Finds Link Across Array of Childhood Brain Disorders
Researchers found gene mutations through whole exome sequencing - a new gene scanning technology that cuts the cost and time of searching for rare mutations.
Friday, August 27, 2010
New Compound Improves Obesity-Related Health Complications in NIH-Led Study
A report of the study, which was conducted with obese mice, appears online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Scientific News
Monovar Drills Down Into Cancer Genome
Rice, MD Anderson develop program to ID mutations in single cancer cells.
Autism, Cancer Share a Remarkable Number of Risk Genes
Researchers with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, MIND Institute identify more than 40 common genes.
Number Of Known Genetic Risk Factors For Endometrial Cancer Doubled
An international collaboration of researchers has identified five new gene regions that increase a woman’s risk of developing endometrial cancer, one of the most common cancers to affect women, taking the number of known gene regions associated with the disease to nine.
Genetic Variant May Help Explain Why Labradors Are Prone To Obesity
A genetic variation associated with obesity and appetite in Labrador retrievers – the UK and US’s favourite dog breed – has been identified by scientists at the University of Cambridge. The finding may explain why Labrador retrievers are more likely to become obese than dogs of other breeds.
How Scientists Use DNA to Track Disease Outbreaks
They’re the top questions on everyone’s mind when a new disease outbreak happens: where did the virus come from? When did this happen? How long has it been spreading in a particular country or group of people?
Genetic Risk Factors of Disparate Diseases Share Similar Biological Underpinnings
Penn Institute for Biomedical Informatics and colleagues identify "roadmap" of disease mechanisms to identify candidate drug targets.
Stem Cells Know How to Unwind
Research led by the Babraham Institute with collaborators in the UK, Canada and Japan has revealed a new understanding of how an open genome structure supports the long-term and unrestricted developmental potential in embryonic stem cells.
Childhood Asthma Research Receives $2M
Research into the impact of a child’s upbringing and social and physical environments on the development of asthma will receive $2 million to tackle the condition that affects as many as one in three Canadians.
Five New Breast Cancer Genes Found
Discovery of mutations paves the way for personalised treatment of breast cancer.
Cell Transplant Treats Parkinson’s in Mice
A University of Wisconsin—Madison neuroscientist has inserted a genetic switch into nerve cells so a patient can alter their activity by taking designer drugs that would not affect any other cell.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!