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Contact: Vicki Cohn, (914) 740-2156, vcohn@liebertpub.com
A Novel Drug Delivery Method for Targeting Chemotherapy to Pancreatic Cancer Cells

New Rochelle, NY, October 29, 2012—Pancreatic cancer has usually spread beyond the pancreas by the time it is diagnosed and has one of the highest mortality rates of all cancers. A new drug delivery method that targets high levels of the chemotherapeutic agent gemcitabine directly to pancreatic cancer cells, while largely sparing normal cells, is presented in an article in Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers. The article is available free on the Nucleic Acid Therapeutics website.

Gemcitabine is currently the most effective single chemotherapeutic drug used to treat pancreatic cancer.  However, to minimize its toxic effects on healthy cells, insufficient amounts of the drug reach the cancerous cells, limiting the drug's effectiveness. In the article “Aptamer-Mediated Delivery of Chemotherapy to Pancreatic Cancer Cells,” Partha Ray and colleagues, Duke University School of Medicine and Duke University (Durham, NC) and The University of Texas at Austin, attached an RNA aptamer--a short strand of nucleic acids designed to recognize and bind to a specific target molecule--to gemcitabine. The aptamer binds to a protein that is present at higher than normal levels on the surface of cancer cells compared to normal pancreatic cells, thereby specifically targeting the drug to the pancreatic cancer cells.

“This study not only demonstrates one of the many potential applications of aptamers to unmet clinical needs, it also represents a real advance in a potentially more effective treatment of this particular–and devastating–form of cancer,” says Executive Editor Fintan Steele, PhD, SomaLogic, Inc., Boulder, CO.

Nucleic Acid Therapeutics is under the editorial leadership of Co-Editors-in-Chief Bruce A. Sullenger, PhD, Duke Translational Research Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, and C.A. Stein, MD, PhD, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA; and Executive Editor Fintan Steele, PhD, SomaLogic, Boulder, CO.

About the Journal
Nucleic Acid Therapeutics is an authoritative, peer-reviewed journal published bimonthly in print and online that focuses on cutting-edge basic research, therapeutic applications, and drug development using nucleic acids or related compounds to alter gene expression. Nucleic Acid Therapeutics is the Official Journal of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society. Complete tables of content and free sample issue may be viewed on the Nucleic Acid Therapeutics website.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Human Gene Therapy and Human Gene Therapy Methods, Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers, Assay and Drug Development Technologies, and DNA and Cell Biology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 70 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers website.