Protection Of The Esophagus From Irradiation Damage By MnSOD-Plasmid-Liposome Gene Therapy

University of Pittsburgh
posted on 07/02/2007

The present invention provides a method of protecting normal cells of the oral cavity, oropharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon against the damaging effects of an anticancer agent or ionizing radiation by providing genes encoding antioxidant proteins protective to normal somatic cells, specifically MnSOD. Additional embodiments provide a method of delivering the protective protein via ingestion or inhalation.

Suggested Uses

  • Cytoprotective agent for cancer patients


  • Allows proper dose escalation of radiation therapy and chemotherapy
  • Can be localized to specific organs
  • Does not cause increase in blood pressure, kidney failure, nausea, vomiting, and transient hypotension attributable to other cytoprotective agents
  • First targeted radioprotective agent that demonstrates efficacy in lung and esophagus cancer
  • Competing technologies have questionable efficacy in preventing damage to normal tissues

Innovation Details

Detailed Description

A method of protecting a subject against an agent that elicits production of toxic free radicals, superoxide anions, or heavy metal cations in the subject is disclosed which entails in vivo administration to the subject of a polynucleotide encoding a protein that is transiently expressed in said subject. The transiently expressed protein is capable of neutralizing or eliminating the toxic free radicals, superoxide anions or heavy metal cations that are elicited by the agent. The method is particularly useful in preventing the development of esophagitis during treatment of lung cancer patients with ionizing radiation and/or chemotherapeutic drugs.

File Number: 237 

Other Information:

Stage of Development

Currently in Phase I/II clinical studies at the University of Pittsburgh

IP Protection

Patent Number(s): 6887856

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This innovation currently is not available for online licensing. Please contact Alexander Ducruet at University of Pittsburgh for more information.

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Case Manager:

Alexander Ducruet Alexander Ducruet

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February 11, 2009

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