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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-21

Applicability of RNA interference in cancer therapy: Current status


Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Amity Institute of Pharmacy, Amity University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
S Maduri
Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Amity Institute of Pharmacy, Amity University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.175598

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Cancer is a manifestation of dysregulated gene function arising from a complex interplay of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes present in our body. Cancer has been constantly chased using various therapies but all in vain as most of them are highly effective only in the early stages of cancer. Recently, RNA interference (RNAi) therapy, a comparatively new entrant is evolving as a promising player in the battle against cancer due to its post-transcriptional gene silencing ability. The most alluring feature of this non-invasive technology lies in its utility in the cancer detection and the cancer treatment at any stage. Once this technology is fully exploited it can bring a whole new era of therapeutics capable of curing cancer at any stage mainly due to its ability to target the vital processes required for cell proliferation such as response to growth factors, nutrient uptake/synthesis, and energy generation. This therapy can also be used to treat stage IV cancer, the most difficult to treat till date, by virtue of its metastasis inhibiting capability. Recent research has also proved that cancer can even be prevented by proper modulation of physiological RNAi pathways and researchers have found that many nutrients, which are a part of routine diet, can effectively modulate these pathways and prevent cancer. Even after having all these advantages the potential of RNAi therapy could not be fully tapped earlier, due to many limitations associated with the administration of RNAi based therapeutics. However, recent advancements in this direction, such as the development of small interfering RNA (siRNA) tolerant to nucleases and the development of non-viral vectors such as cationic liposomes and nanoparticles, can overcome this obstacle and facilitate the clinical use of RNAi based therapeutics in the treatment of cancer. The present review focuses on the current status of RNAi therapeutics and explores their potential as future diagnostics and therapeutics against cancer.






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