Small interfering RNA (siRNA), a type of genetic material, can block potentially harmful activity in cells, such as tumor cell growth. But delivering siRNA successfully to specific cells without adversely affecting other cells has been challenging.
I enjoy reading Nature Biotechnology, although I do wish it came online to my inbox rather than as a paper copy in the mail, making it easier to share and link to articles of interest.
In this study, the size of a prostate cancer-specific aptamer was trimmed and the siRNA was modified to increase its activity. Upon injection into the bloodstream, the combination triggered tumor regression without affecting normal tissues. Making the combination smaller made it easier to produce large amounts synthetically.
It will be interesting to watch the development of this technology in large animal models.