New gene therapy has cleared the hurdle for a second time in India, a major player in the global cancer research and development pipeline.
The second study published in the journal Science on Monday, showed that the new gene, called Enzyme-Activated Site-17, protects liver cells against cancer progression in mice.
The study, led by the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI), also showed that mice carrying the mutation are less likely to develop liver cancer.
The findings are a significant victory for Indian scientists, who had sought to get the gene into humans for at least two decades.
However, the success came with major caveats, including a lack of a cure for the disease.
“We have a very limited capacity to develop a drug and we need to be patient-centric,” said Raghu Gupta, director of the NCRI’s gene therapy division.
“It’s really challenging.”
The gene is a variant of the gene responsible for transforming a normal protein called Myc-Tyr-Lys-Myc.
It has been tested in mice, but not humans, and scientists hope to begin human trials in the coming year.
The gene was discovered in mice at the same time as researchers discovered that the disease can be treated with chemotherapy.
But it has been around for more than a century.
The NCRI, which has funded the first two gene therapies, said the study is the first of its kind in the world and that it is also the first to show that a gene in the mutated form protects the liver from cancer progression.
The second study showed similar results.
Both studies used mice that carried a gene variant called My-T-My-My.
In the first study, scientists found that mice with the mutation were 50 percent less likely than mice without the mutation to develop lung cancer.
The mice also showed a reduction in the risk of developing other types of liver cancer, such as lymphoma.
The researchers found that the mutations were responsible for the protection of the liver cells from cancer-causing enzymes called ubiquitin ligases.
A ubiquitination enzyme is a group of enzymes that form an intermediate between two different types of DNA, called telomeres.
Telomeres are the part of the cell’s DNA that are broken down when the cell divides.
Researchers believe that a mutation in a gene called MyaLor-Lor2c1 protects the cells against the ubiquitins by preventing the enzymes from being released into the cells.
Another mutation, MyaMn-MyaLys3c1, could protect the cells from a second type of ubiquitinator called p-tyrosine phosphatase.
The researchers also found that mutations in the two genes were associated with a reduction of the rate of the enzyme’s ubiquitinating activity.
If the two mutations are combined, it could be possible to develop drug treatments for liver disease that target the proteins directly.
“It’s exciting that we have the first gene for hepatocellular carcinoma,” said K.S. Pandey, the NCRI’s chief scientific officer.
Pandey, who was not involved in the study, said that the researchers could not predict exactly how long the mice would be able to live with the gene in their cells.
He added that the gene is also likely to have benefits for other cancers, such a melanoma or skin cancer.
Pandey said the research also is important for developing more powerful drugs for liver cells.
The research could lead to the development of more effective drugs for patients with other cancers.
Panday said it is important that researchers continue to investigate how the gene may work in other cancers and that further studies should look at the safety and efficacy of the drug.