AntiCancer Inc. Develops New Gene-Based Fluorescence-Labeling Technology for Cancer Surgery
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AntiCancer, Inc. scientists, collaborating with scientists from Okayama University in Japan, have utilized a cancer-specific adenovirus to deliver and express the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene selectively in tumors in mouse models of disseminated cancer. All the cancer in the mice became genetically-labeled with GFP and fluoresced brightly green after the GFP adenovirus was administered to the mice. Using a simple lighting and filter apparatus, the scientists could readily see all of the cancer in the mice in contrast to when the cancer was observed under normal lighting, when most of cancer is invisible. Using fluorescent-guidance, scientists were able to successfully surgically remove all the disseminated cancer.
"The ability to selectively make cancer cells fluoresce in a living organism now enables all the cancer to be visualized, even cancer that is invisible under normal light. This enables the complete removal of all the cancer. If microscopic cancer still remains, the surgeon now has options: Either the remaining cancer can be better visualized and targeted using a surgical microscope or, since the cancer has been made genetically-fluorescent, any recurring cancer will still be fluorescent and will be able to be detected and removed subsequently," said Charlene M. Cooper, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of AntiCancer. The current study was published this week in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. AntiCancer scientists and Okayama University scientists, led by Dr. Toshiyoshi Fujiwara, hope that in the near future AntiCancer's surgical-labeling technology can be brought in to the clinic.
AntiCancer, founded in 1984 and based in San Diego, has developed the leading mouse models of cancer including MetaMouse® and AngioMouse®. These models are made imageable with AntiCancer's OncoBrite® technology using fluorescent proteins. AntiCancer is also developing new cancer drugs based on genetic engineering that target cancer-specific metabolic defects. AntiCancer is developing tumor-targeting bacteria. The company is also developing recombinant-enzyme-based diagnostics for cancer and cardiovascular disease. AntiCancer offers the Histoculture Drug Response Assay (HDRA) for individualized cancer treatment. AntiCancer pioneered hair follicle gene therapy and is now pioneering the use of pluripotent hair-follicle stem cells for regenerative medicine for nerve and spinal cord injury.