Intended for healthcare professionals


UK researchers switch off genes that trigger cervical cancer

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 14 September 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:563
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    UK researchers have reported that they have been able to switch off a human papillomavirus gene that triggers cervical cancer, using a new highly targeted technique—RNA interference.

    A team at the University of York reported last week that RNA interference, which works by selectively “silencing” homologous genes, completely eliminated all human cervical cancer cells in vitro yet left healthy cells unharmed (Oncogene 2002;21: 6041-8)

    This was the first evidence that RNA interference can turn off genes of infectious viruses in tumour cells, rendering them harmless.

    The researchers chose human cervical cancer cells that are …

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