Cancer patients treated with the highly targeted supportive oligonucleotide therapy (SOT) showed benefits in 77% of cases, RGCC scientists have found. A new paper published in the in vivo journal finds evidence that SOTs effectively target and kill cancer cells on their own or in tandem with other therapies. 

Supportive oligonucleotide therapy is an advanced, personalised form of cancer treatment that disrupts how cancer cells replicate or survive. Specifically, SOTs use a modified specific type of RNA, known as short interfering RNAs (siRNAs), that binds to a specific gene, essential for survival or replication of cancer cells. SOTs target cancer cells in the body, preventing cancer from growing or spreading. 

While SOTs offer incredible potential at treating cancer, most therapies in development are still in clinical trials. In the study, RGCC scientists assessed how effective SOTs treated cancer in 97 patients. The participants, from the USA and Europe, were aged between 41 – 87 years of age and suffering from a range of cancers, including breast cancer (30%), prostate cancer (20%) and colorectal cancer (9%). 

Over half of patients (58%) received SOT in combination with other therapies, while 42% used SOTs on their own (known as monotherapy). Participants received two doses of a personalised SOT, created from analysis of their own circulating cancer cells and created in RGCC’s facilities in Greece. 

“Clinical status evaluation of all patients who used SOT therapy for cancer was positive in 77.89%,” state the authors. In Patients who used SOTs in combination with other therapies, 69.77% saw improvements, with positive results in clinical status evaluations and personal questionnaires.

Some cancers appeared to respond better to treatment with SOTs, results suggest. The team found a higher response in patients with leukaemia (100%), prostate cancer (95.00%), colorectal cancer (88.00%), and breast cancer (81.00%). No adverse side effects were noted in the paper, which suggests that patients of any age well tolerate SOT treatment.

The authors are optimistic about the impact of their findings. “We showed that the use of SOTs in cancer can be very beneficial for patients.” say the authors, highlighting critical opportunities for SOTs. “siRNA molecules are safe and specific on targeting, therefore can be used in cases where other drugs cannot.” 

The authors acknowledge that the study itself is a small scale, with fewer than 100 patients. They state that “more samples need to be tested to be used at clinical routine,” but conclude by saying that SOT therapy in cancer is “encouraging”.

The research paper is the latest publication from our world-leading scientific team in Switzerland and Greece. RGCC is at the forefront of new developments in cancer diagnosis and treatment. We’re able to offer all cancer patients access to SOT therapy through our global network. Learn more here. 

You can read the full paper, Supportive Oligonucleotide Therapy (SOT) as an Alternative Treatment Option in Cancer: A Preliminary Study, here.