Personalized RNA-medicine for pancreatic cancer

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Clinical Cancer Research, Volume 24, Issue 7, p.1734-1747 (2018)



Since drug responses vary between patients, it is crucial to develop pre-clinical or co-clinical strategies that forecast patient response. In this study, we tested whether RNA-based therapeutics were suitable for personalized medicine by using patient-derived-organoid (PDO) and patient-derived-xenograft (PDX) models. Experimental Design: We performed microRNA (miRNA) profiling of PDX samples to determine the status of miRNA deregulation in individual pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients. To deliver personalized RNA-based-therapy targeting oncogenic miRNAs that form part of this common PDAC miRNA over-expression signature, we packaged antimiR oligonucleotides against one of these miRNAs in tumor-penetrating nanocomplexes (TPN) targeting cell surface proteins on PDAC tumors. Results: As a validation for our pre-clinical strategy, the therapeutic potential of one of our nano-drugs, TPN-21 was first shown to decrease tumor cell growth and survival in PDO avatars for individual patients, then in their PDX avatars. Conclusions: This general approach appears suitable for co-clinical validation of personalized RNA medicine and paves the way to prospectively identify patients with eligible miRNA profiles for personalized RNA-based therapy.