This study aims to utilize SSTR2 receptors present on pancreatic NETs to target and deliver therapeutic agents directly to the tumors themselves. Researchers will first design a virus containing octreotide on its protein surface, which will allow the virus to bind to cells containing SSTR2 receptors (i.e. pancreatic NETs). The virus will contain the gene for TNF-a, a protein that induces cell inflammation and death. The intended goal is that the virus will selectively target pancreatic NETs via the SSTR2 receptor, deliver the TNF-a gene, and in tum cause cell death without harming surrounding healthy cells. The successful completion of this study will address the lack of a gene therapy approach to the treatment of pancreatic NETs.
Smith TL, Yuan Z, Cardó-Vila M, Claros S, Adem A, Cui MH, Branch CA, Gelovani JG, Libutti SK, Sidman RL, Pasqualini R, Arap W. AAVP displaying octreotide for ligand-directed therapeutic transgene delivery in neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Mar 1; 113(9): 2466–2471. Published online 2016 Feb 16. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1525709113