Dr. Andrea L. Kasinski, William and Patty Miller Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Purdue University, writes about the Bhatia lab's recent collaborative research paper with Dr. Frank J. Slack on "Tumor penetrating nanomedicine targeting both an oncomiR and an oncogene in pancreatic cancer." You can access the perspective article published in the journal Oncotarget here.
Modulating the expression of protein-coding genes and microRNA-coding genes that are essential for maintaining a particular disease state has the potential to dramatically alter the trajectory of the disease. For example, the oncoprotein KRAS and the oncomiR microRNA-21 (miR-21) are important drivers of multiple cancers, including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Thus, reducing the levels of KRAS and sequestering miR-21 at the same time could represent a powerful approach to targeting PDAC. This was the hypothesis tested by the Slack and Bhatia labs. You can access the paper here.