Apr 24, 2020

Development of a Novel Class of Self-Assembling dsRNA Cancer Therapeutics: a Proof of Concept Investigation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Vishwaratn AsthanaR. A. Drezek


Cancer has proven to be an extremely difficult challenge to treat. Several fundamental issues currently underlie cancer treatment including differentiating self from non-self, functional coupling of the recognition and therapeutic components of various therapies, and the propensity of cancerous cells to develop resistance to common treatment modalities via evolutionary pressure. Given these limitations, there is an increasing need to develop an all-encompassing therapeutic that can uniquely target malignant cells, decouple recognition from treatment, and overcome evolutionarily driven cancer resistance. We describe herein, a new class of programmable self-assembling dsRNA-based cancer therapeutics, that uniquely targets aberrant genetic sequences, and in a functionally decoupled manner, undergoes oncogenic RNA activated displacement (ORAD), initiating a therapeutic cascade that induces apoptosis and immune activation. As a proof-of-concept, we show that RNA strands targeting the EWS/Fli1 fusion gene in Ewing Sarcoma cells that are end-blocked with phosphorothioate bonds and additionally sealed with a 2'-U modified DNA protector can be used to induce specific and potent killing of cells containing the target oncogenic sequence, ...Continue Reading

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