Scientists at the University of Zurich seem to have come up with a life-saving antedote for people suffering from cancerous tumour. Research reports have it that they have come up with a modified a common respiratory virus to help deliver genes for cancer therapeutics directly into tumour cells. Otherwise known as Adenovirus, the new and innovative discovery acts as a Trojan horse to deliver therapies antibodies to where they are needed instead of spreading all over the bloodstream where can harm or damage healthy organs and tissues.
Researchers are ecstatic that the innovative therapy could reduce the side effects of cancer therapy, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy both of whom are harmful to normal healthy cells. It is said to have the ability for delivering, for instance, covid-19 related therapies directly to the lungs.
According to the scientists, once inside tumour cells, the delivered genes serve as a blueprint for therapeutic antibodies, cytokines and other signaling substances, which are produced by the cancer cells themselves and act to eliminate tumors from the inside out.
We trick the tumour into eliminating itself through the production of anti-cancer agents by its own cells,” says postdoctoral fellow Sheena Smith, who led the development of the delivery approach.
This innovation could reduce the side effects of cancer therapy and may hold the solution to better delivery of Covid-19 related therapies directly to the lungs. But unlike chemotherapy or radiotherapy, this approach does no harm to normal healthy cells.
According to the research group leader, Andreas Plueckthun explains,
“The therapeutic agents, such as therapeutic antibodies or signaling substances, mostly stay at the place in the body where they’re needed instead of spreading throughout the bloodstream where they can damage healthy organs and tissues.”
The Zurich University researchers refers to the new technology as SHREAD, an acronym for Shielded Retargetted Adenovirus, which is built on key existing technology previously engineered by the Plueckthun team, to include directing adenoviruses to specified parts of the body to hide them from the immune system.
It is widely held that the research team that invented SHREAD succeeded in making the tumour itself produce a clinically approved breast cancer antibody known as Trastuzumab in the mammary of mouse. They found out that after a few days, SHREAD produced more of the antibodies in the tumour when the drug was injected directly. More so, the concentration in the bloodstream and in other tissues where side effects could occur were significantly lower with SHREAD. This was made possible with the use of a very sophisticated high resolution 3D imaging method and tissues rendered totally transparent to show how the therapeutic antibody, produced in the body, creates pores in blood vessels of the tumor and destroys tumor cells thus treating it from the inside.
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