Tiny bubbles in our body to fight cancer better than chemo
Researchers have found that tiny bubbles in our body might potentially be used to treat cancer and could fight the disease better than chemotherapy.
Healthy cells in our body release nano-sized bubbles that transfer genetic material such as DNA and RNA to other cells. It's your DNA that stores the important information necessary for RNA to produce proteins and make sure they act accordingly.
According to the researchers, these bubbly extracellular vesicles (EV) could become mini treatment transporters, carrying a combination of therapeutic drugs and genes that target cancer cells and kill them.
The study, published recently, focused on breast cancer cells in mice.
"What we've done is improve a therapeutic approach to delivering enzyme-producing genes that can convert certain drugs into toxic agents and target tumours," said the study's lead author Masamitsu Kanada, Assistant Professor at the Michigan State University.
These drugs or prodrugs start out as inactive compounds. But once they metabolize in the body, they are immediately activated and can get to work on fighting everything from cancer to headaches.
Aspirin is an example of a common prodrug.
In this case, researchers used EVs, to deliver the enzyme-producing genes that could activate a prodrug combination therapy of ganciclovir and CB1954 in breast cancer cells.
Minicircle DNA and regular plasmid – two different gene vectors that act as additional delivery mechanisms for DNA – were loaded into the vesicles to see which was better at helping transport treatment.
This is known as a gene-directed enzyme, prodrug
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