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Cancer cells engineered to trigger a death switch in other cancer cells

Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide and the treatments are either in experimental phases or clinical trials. Scientists and researchers are striving hard day and night to find novel therapeutic strategies that eliminate cancer at all stages. Genetic Engineers have introduced a new strategy, whereby they manipulated certain wandering cancer tumor cells to [...]

Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide and the treatments are either in experimental phases or clinical trials. Scientists and researchers are striving hard day and night to find novel therapeutic strategies that eliminate cancer at all stages. Genetic Engineers have introduced a new strategy, whereby they manipulated certain wandering cancer tumor cells to secrete a special protein. This protein when interacts with the localized tumor cells, elicits a death switch in them, ultimately killing them. The wandering cancer cells possess an integrated suicide switch that compels them to kill themselves before they start another generation of tumors.

The scientists previously utilized the tumor cells in circulation to target the localized tumor cells via certain viruses that eradicate cancer. However, this method is old and the hardworking researchers devised a new technology to tackle the lethal cancers. This new gene editing technology, CRISPR/Cas9 edits the cancerous genes in such a way that their entire line of action is maneuvered, thus being granted the refined characteristic of self-devastation when they are of no use. CRISPR/Cas9 technique has created a buzz and revolutionized the whole world of science.

Reinshagen and his coworkers have hit upon a new approach to exterminate localized tumor cells by taking potential benefit of the “self-homing” behavior of the tumor cells. The “self-homing” principle reveals tumor cells to relocate to the main tumor site wherever inoculated in the circulatory system. Reinshagen utilized these tumor cells as therapeutic carriers or vectors that might carry therapies and transfer them to the main tumor site, thus following their “self-homing” behavior. The scientists carefully designed these self-targeting tumor cells to secrete the ligands that target specific death receptors on the resident tumor cells. The ligands upon binding the receptor sites kill the main tumor cells but the planted cell itself survives. In order to kill the savior cell before it becomes a culprit in promulgating new tumor cells, certain drugs are induced that trigger a cellular suicide system. This method has been reported really convenient, safe and efficient by the scientists after they tested it on a series of mouse models at preliminary and advanced stages of cancer.

The above-mentioned methods are being used and refined in science research in order to fight cancer to the best levels. We can hope to nib cancer in the bud in the near future when these methods will be implemented.

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