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Medical Cure for cancer lies in biotechnology and manipulating Virus’s?

  1. Jul 17, 2012 #1
    Cure for cancer lies in biotechnology and manipulating Virus’s??

    What to kill a cancer cell without killing healthy cells around it? What’s the perfect candidate?

    Something small to avoid the immune system. Something specific to the cancer cells.

    Something lethal to the target cancer cells with minimal side effects..A genitcally altered virus.

    Take a virus that the body cannot normally stop. Hep B.

    Cut out the sequence of the DNA that codes for targeting the hepatocytes cell surface marker. That the limitation as of now. We don't know that yet....

    The virus gains entry into the cell (Hepatocyte) by binding to an unknown receptor on the surface and being endocytosed in.

    Replace that section of the DNA with a new section obtained from monoclonal antibody technology (Inject mouse with cancer cell to get antibody to it) developed from the cell surface markers/antigens on the target cancer cells. PCR technique to amplify the sample a billion fold and test to make sure all heb b virus has been 100% converted to the hep virus targeted for cancer cells. Inject it and let it do the rest. Instead of attacking liver cells it only seeks out cancer cells with the appropriate cell surface antigen.

    Over simplified, but thoughts? Limitations?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2012 #2


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    Re: Cure for cancer lies in biotechnology and manipulating Virus’s??

    I'm not sure you mean by the immune system being unable to stop Hepatitis B as a vaccine exists for Hep B.

    But, the idea of for oncolytic viruses, viruses that specifically attack cancer cells, is one that many have worked on. One oversimplification you present is in targeting the virus to a specific cancer cell population. First, it is difficult to find good biomarkers for most cancers and if we can find them, many biomarkers work for only a small subset of a specific type of cancer. Second, viral entry mechanisms often rely on much more than a single receptor and can involve co-receptor molecules as well as other host factors that may not be present in a different cell type. After all, these viruses have evolved over many millions of generations to attack a specific cell type. While I could see engineering Hep B to attack liver cancer cells, I'm not so sure one could be successful engineering it to attack other cell types.

    Of course, oncolytic viruses could help with one big problem in cancer therapy: resistance. Many cancer cells, due to their fast replication rate and frequent mutations, will quickly evolve resistance to many chemotherapeutic agents we use to combat them. These cancer cells could generate mutations in their receptors to evade targeting by the oncolytic viruses as well. These viruses, however, would also be able to evolve to counteract the mutations in the tumor, and therefore tumors may not be able to evolve resistance to oncolytic viruses so easily.

    Research into oncolytic viruses is an active area and could potentially be very promising. However, significant challenges remain before this promise can be realized.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  4. Jul 17, 2012 #3
    Re: Cure for cancer lies in biotechnology and manipulating Virus’s??

    Sounds like alot of big hurdles to get by. Thanks for the info!
  5. Jul 20, 2012 #4
    Re: Cure for cancer lies in biotechnology and manipulating Virus’s??

    using virus to kill cancer cells has showed some promise, certainly a lot more promise than using virus for gene therapy. That route has been a big flop so far, when you have patients dying at clinical trials you lose all funding
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