Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
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 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,200+ 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 Seeks Research Applications to Study Zika in Pregnancy, Developing Fetus
Institute has announced that the new effort seeks to understand virus effect on reproduction and child development.
Friday, February 12, 2016
Criminal Justice Alcohol Program Linked to Decreased Mortality
Institute has announced that in the criminal justice alcohol program deaths dropped by 4.2 percent over six years.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Tick Genome Reveals Secrets of a Successful Bloodsucker
NIH has announced that decipher the genome of the blacklegged tick which could lead to new tick control methods.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
More Then 1 in 20 U.S. Children have Dizziness and Balance Problems
Researchers at NIH have found that girls have a higher prevalence of dizziness and balance problems compared to boys, 5.7 percent and 5.0 percent.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
NIH Researchers Identify Striking Genomic Signature for Cancer
Institute has identified striking signature shared by five types of cancer.
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment
Findings may offer insight to effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Friday, February 05, 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
Test Reliably Detects Inherited Immune Deficiency in Newborns
NIH-supported study suggests that early diagnosis of severe combined immunodeficiency leads to high survival rates.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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
Investigational Malaria Vaccine Found Safe and Protective
An investigational malaria vaccine has been found to be safe, to generate an immune system response, and to offer protection against malaria infection in healthy adults.
Friday, August 09, 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
New NIH funding for two Autism Centers of Excellence
A total of 11 centers now funded for up to five years.
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Scientific News
Breaking Cell Barriers with Retractable Protein Nanoneedles
Adapting a bacterial structure, institute researchers have developed protein actuators that can mechanically puncture cells.
Gene Signature could Lead to a New Way of Diagnosing Lyme Disease
Lyme disease patients had distinctive gene signatures that persisted for at least three weeks, even after they had taken the antibiotics.
Retractable Protein Nanoneedles
The ability to control the transfer of molecules through cellular membranes is an important function in synthetic biology; a new study from researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Harvard Medical School (HMS) introduces a novel mechanical method for controlling release of molecules inside cells.
Leukemia’s Surroundings Key to its Growth
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that a type of cancer found primarily in children can grow only when signaled to do so by other nearby cells that are noncancerous.
Common Cell Transformed into Master Heart Cell
By genetically reprogramming the most common type of cell in mammalian connective tissue, researchers at the University of Wisconsin—Madison have generated master heart cells — primitive progenitors that form the developing heart.
‘Smelling’ Prostate Cancer
A research team from the University of Liverpool and the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has reached an important milestone towards creating a urine diagnostic test for prostate cancer that could mean that invasive diagnostic procedures that men currently undergo eventually become a thing of the past.
Genetic Mutation that Prevents Diabetes Complications
The most significant complications of diabetes include diabetic retinal disease, or retinopathy, and diabetic kidney disease, or nephropathy. Both involve damaged capillaries.
A Crystal Clear View of Biomolecules
Fundamental discovery triggers paradigm shift in crystallography.
Could the Food we Eat Affect Our Genes?
Almost all of our genes may be influenced by the food we eat, according to new research.
NIH Seeks Research Applications to Study Zika in Pregnancy, Developing Fetus
Institute has announced that the new effort seeks to understand virus effect on reproduction and child development.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!