Now, a new way to beat lung cancer

Washington: Scientists claim to have developed a new therapy to beat lung cancer, one of the most lethal types of the disease.

An international team, led by the Children`s Cancer Institute Australia, looking for a new treatment approach to childhood cancer found that this new approach was effective in targeting solid tumours in lung cancer.

The results suggest that the therapy has the potential to offer new hope to lung cancer patients globally, say the scientists.

By targeting a structural protein in drug resistant lung cancer cells, the therapy aims to increase sensitivity of the tumour to standard chemotherapy drugs; it uses a gene- silencing approach, the next wave of cancer therapeutics, to suppress this structural protein.

"This therapy could advance new ways of approaching treatment of non-small lung cancer, which accounts for 80 per cent of all lung cancers," said Professor Maria Kavallaris, who led the team.

It is hoped that this therapy will also have significance for solid tumour cancers in children, such as neuroblastoma, one of the most aggressive childhood cancer, say the scientists.

The scientists have been working closely with Benitec Ltd, an Australian Biotechnology Company, to bring this new therapy from the laboratory bench to the clinic as soon as possible.

"Gene silencing is looking very promising as the next wave of therapeutics. We have used this approach successfully in early stage HIV clinical trials in the US and believe that this same approach can be used for cancer and many other diseases,"said Dr Peter French, Chief Executive of Benitec.