HomeProjectsBiomedical Sciences and Healthcare TechnologiesA Novel Virus-Free Anticancer Gene Therapy

A Novel Virus-Free Anticancer Gene Therapy

Project Quick Facts

Principal Investigator

  • Prof. TANG Ming Kuen Patrick

    Department of Anatomical and Cellular Pathology

  • Prof. LAN Hui Yao

    Choh-Ming Li Professor of Biomedical Sciences

  • Funding Sources

    Innovation and Technology Commission, Research Grants Council, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Medicine, Guangdong Science and Technology, The Lui Che Woo Institute of Innovative Medicine

  • Publication

    The Mincle/Syk/NF-kappaB Signaling Circuit Is Essential for Maintaining the Protumoral Activities of Tumor-Associated Macrophages. Cancer Immunol Res 8, 1004-1017 (2020).

    USMB-shMincle: a virus-free gene therapy for blocking M1/M2 polarization of tumor-associated macrophages. Molecular Therapy – Oncolytics 23, 26-37 (2021).

  • Patent

    1 US Provisional Filed and 1 Hong Kong Application

  • Award

    Gold Medal with Congratulations of the Jury, International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva 2021

Gene therapy conventionally utilizes virus to correct diseased genes for eliminating cancer, but safety risks and off-target effects of viral method largely limit their clinical translation.

Therefore, CUHK team combined RNA interference technology and ultrasound microbubble system to form a novel virus-free gene therapy. The invention specifically delivers gene silencing particles into tumor without using any virus. It can serve as a rapid evaluating platform for therapeutic efficiency of new gene targets preclinically, as well as development to be a safe anticancer therapy clinically.

Conventional method Method in This Project
  • Delivery by virus
  • Permanent change
  • Virus-free
  • Reversible
  • Genomic level
  • Cannot target post-transcriptional level
  • mRNA level
  • Can design for any new gene isoforms
  • Relatively low
  • Systemic diffuse
  • Affect all tissues
  • High
  • Tissue-specific
  • Release in tumour
In our invention, the gene-silencing particles are specifically delivered to tumor by ultrasound microbubble system.
Our new method effectively stops the growth of human lung cancer by largely enhancing the anticancer immunity (iNOS+ F4/80) in tumor.
Our method (right), the gene-silencing plasmids (green) can be specifically delivered to tumor, avoiding off-target side effects of gene therapy.

CE’s Reception for Awardees of International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva 2021

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