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Clinical applications of aptamers and nucleic acid therapeutics in haematological malignancies
journal contributionposted on 2011-10-01, 00:00 authored by Sarah ShigdarSarah Shigdar, Alister WardAlister Ward, A De, C Yang, M Wei, Wei DuanWei Duan
Haematological malignancies result from a heterogeneous mix of genetic mutations and chromosome aberrations and translocations. Targeted therapies, such as the anti-CD20 antibody rituximab, or the BCR-ABL1 inhibitor imatinib, have proven to be effective treatments in the management of some of these malignancies, though relapsing or refractory disease is still common. Nucleic acid-based therapies have also entered the clinical arena, providing an alternative, complementary approach. The forerunner of these therapies were the antisense oligonucleotides, but their scope has expanded to include short-interfering RNA (siRNA), microRNA, decoy oligonucleotides and aptamers. These can be used either as monotherapeutics, in conjunction with current chemotherapy regimens, or in combination with each other to improve therapeutic efficacy. Not only can these nucleic acid-based therapies silence target genes, they also have the potential of restoring gene function. While challenges remain in delivering effective doses of nucleic acid in vivo, these are steadily being met, suggesting an optimistic future in the treatment of haematological malignancies. This review summarizes the application of nucleic acid-based therapeutics, particularly aptamers, in the diagnosis and treatment of haematological malignancies.