Chemotherapy at high doses can have serious side effects, especially in children. Improved neuroblastoma therapy options are desperately needed in today's world. One in every two children with an aggressive type of this disease succumbs to death. Further, there are also long-term adverse effects of the treatment that frequently impacts survivors.
A team's research has shown potential in improving outcomes for combating neuroblastoma. They discovered a new therapeutic which could significantly contribute to the Cancer Immunotherapy Market as it could boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy in the treatment of neuroblastomas.
Neuroblastoma is an uncommon but sometimes aggressive cancer that is typically diagnosed in children under the age of five years. The team in the present study discovered that neuroblastoma cells could be made more sensitive to chemotherapy while the normal cells remained unaffected. This was possible due to three microRNAs, tiny bits of genetic material that turn off genes. If successful in further preclinical studies and clinical trials, these microRNAs could help make chemotherapy more effective for neuroblastoma patients.
The conventional treatment for high-risk neuroblastoma is high-dose chemotherapy. However, there is a tight window between efficacy and patient harm. These microRNAs might be able to help open an alternative door.
Three microRNAs were found to be potent chemosensitizers. The statement denotes that they improved the effects of chemotherapy on neuroblastoma cells while causing no harm to other cells. The team found that these microRNAs targeted various genes required for neuroblastoma survival in mouse models. Further, researchers discovered they were typically missing in patients with a particularly dismal prognosis by looking at previous studies.
This led the team to suspect that restoring the activity of these microRNAs by providing them to patients could be an effective neuroblastoma treatment. The next phase in this research will be to conduct comprehensive preclinical studies, which clinical trials will follow.
Researchers anticipate that conducting this feasibility study will improve treatments by significantly hitting the tumor while reducing patient toxicity.