Tomato genes have ‘gene therapy’ potential

March 30, 2010
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jurepiskar300March 30, 2010, Lund, Sweden – Tomato genes could be used as a future treatment in gene therapy, according to new research results from Lund University .

Jure Piskur (at left) is a professor at the Department of Biology, Lund University. Together with colleagues from Stockholm, Copenhagen and Lund, he has recently published research results on a tomato gene that it seems could be of value in future treatment of brain tumours. The results are reported in the journal Neuro-Oncology.

Research on gene therapy has been underway for a long time and last autumn the first gene therapy treatment was launched onto the market, by Ark Therapeutics from Kuopio in Finland.

The idea of gene therapy is to introduce an alien gene into a patient’s cancer cells. In combination with a specific drug, the introduced gene can cause the cancer cells to die. The tumour does not disappear, but the hope is that the disease can be halted for a couple of years.

“Our research results on the tomato gene show a superior alternative to the main ingredient that they have started using in Finland and we have now begun cooperating with the researchers in Kuopio”, says Piskur.

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