Scientists at Northwestern University have discovered a small RNA molecule known as miR-182 that has the ability to quash cancer-causing genes in mice with glioblastoma mulitforme (GBM), an incurable and deadly type of brain cancer.

Unlike standard treatment with chemotherapy drugs that stop cancer cells from reproducing which often results in damage of DNA, the new method implements sperical nucliec acids (SNAS) to safely deliver miR-182 across the blood-brain barrier to reach tumor cells. This way, it stops the expression of several oncogenes that encourage the development of cancerous cells. In short, the molecule miR-182 suppresses Bcl2L12, a cancer gene that prevents cancer cell from being eliminated by either chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Also when researcher examined large-scale genomic datasets, they found that the patients with higher levels of miR-182 had a longer chance of surviving glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). miR-182 molecule is a short non-coding microRNA that binds to several genes to suppress their protein expression in cells. [Northwestern University ]