Tags: reprogrammed | viruses | attack | cancer

Reprogrammed Viruses Trained to Attack Cancer

Reprogrammed Viruses Trained to Attack Cancer
(Kittipong Jirasukhanont/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 29 May 2018 05:29 PM

Scientists have successfully reprogrammed viruses to recognize ovarian cancer cells in mice and attack them without harming healthy tissue, which they hope will lead to a new, more successful way to treat cancer.

The reprogrammed viruses enter a cell and use its reproductive abilities to replicate itself thousands of times, Medical News Today reported. After thousands of virus cells are created, they rupture the cell and infect neighboring cells.

The research, published in Clinical Cancer Research, engineered the virus to recognize a protein marker unique to the ovarian cancer cells so that it would attack and destroy them, but not healthy cells, MNT reported. The rapid multiplication that causes illnesses to spread quickly becomes a benefit as the cells work to destroy cancer cells with the same speed.

Scientists built on previous research, in which effectiveness was limited because they could not make the viruses selective enough, MNT reported. They hope to reach clinical trials in five years and build on the success of this research to train viruses to attack other cancers, including breast, pancreatic, lung, and oral cancers, as well.

The virus used is an adenovirus that normally impacts the respiratory system, Bio News reported. Adenoviruses are already being used to treat certain cancers.

"Viruses are nature's nanotechnology and harnessing their ability to hijack cells is an area of growing interest in cancer research," Dr. Catherine Pickworth of Cancer Research UK, which helped fund the study, said. "The next step will be more research to see if this could be a safe and effective strategy to use in people."

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TheWire
Scientist are turning to "nature's nanotechnology" to help fight cancer in a study to reprogram viruses to recognize ovarian cancer cells in mice and attack them without harming healthy tissue.
reprogrammed, viruses, attack, cancer
263
2018-29-29
Tuesday, 29 May 2018 05:29 PM
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