Small Interfering RNA – A Basic Introduction

 

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Upcoming Courses from the Foundation for Women’s Cancer

 

Foundation for Women’s Cancerpic

Foundation for Women’s Cancer
Image: foundationforwomenscancer.org

A professor in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, Anil Sood also serves as co-director of the institution’s Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA and director of the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program. In addition, Anil Sood supports the work of organizations such as the Foundation for Women’s Cancer.

Founded to raise awareness of and fund research on gynecologic cancers, the Foundation for Women’s Cancer also considers education to be an important part of its mission. To that end, it offers courses for patients and the public. Upcoming free courses include the following.

1. Ovarian Cancer Education Course in New York City on Saturday, September 29, 2018, in the Stern Auditorium at Mt. Sinai Hospital: Taught by a team of researchers, physicians, and others, this day-long course will feature up-to-date information on ovarian cancer clinical trials and research. It will also include continental breakfast and lunch.

2. Gynecologic Cancer Course in Washington, DC, on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at the JW Marriott. This day-long course will focus on gynecologic cancer-related trials and research. Cancer care team members, including physicians and researchers, will present the information. The event will include continental breakfast as well as lunch.

RNA Interference as a Means of Silencing Foreign RNA Gene Expression

Anil Sood

Anil Sood

Dr. Anil Sood is a well established Houston medical practitioner who focuses on gynecologic oncology and a professor with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Anil Sood’s responsibilities include serving as co-director of the Center for RNA Interference (RNAi) and Non-Coding RNA (Red and Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer).

The subject of substantial research over the past 15 years, RNAi involves the use of short RNA snippets in “shutting off” genes that are malfunctioning. A natural biological process, RNAi is believed to represent a defense mechanism for protecting organisms from RNA viruses.

When double stranded RNA (dsRNA) is identified as an intruder, the Dicer enzyme is recruited and used to cut the foreign RNA into tiny pieces that are about 22 nucleotides long. A strand of the siRNA then binds to the target viral mRNA and signals its destruction. The siRNA approach is now being developed as a therapy for cancer and other diseases.

The discovery of RNA interference resulted in a joint Nobel Prize in medicine in 2006. This means of silencing gene expression has since been identified in a number of organisms and has potential applications in the treatment of a variety of diseases such as cancers.

Benefits of Participation in Clinical Trials

Anil Sood

Anil Sood

An award-winning researcher in the field of gynecological cancer, Dr. Anil Sood has published many peer-reviewed papers. Vice chair for translational research in the department of gynecologic oncology at The University of Texas’s MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Anil Sood leverages his expertise to support the work of the Foundation for Women’s Cancer, which collaborates with NRG Oncology to encourage clinical trial participation.

Before a new treatment can receive approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, it must pass through a number of clinical trials to ensure its efficacy and safety. Clinical trials are among the final steps in the development of a drug, which must show both promise and safety before the developer can call for human participants.

Those who choose to participate in a clinical trial receive access to new treatments not yet available to the general public. For women who have treatment-resistant or recurrence of a cancer, this may mean new hope when conventional methods have failed to get results.

Participants in clinical trials receive attentive care. The research team closely monitors the health of the participant and is proactive in managing any side effects, since part of the purpose of a clinical trial is to determine how the body will respond to treatment.

Clinical trials also offer participants the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of cancer care. Regardless of the study’s outcome, physicians ultimately will have more tools and knowledge to help diagnosed patients in the future.