With the recent changes occurring in the field of medicine, a new set of human viruses are found that can selectively attack the tumor cells. This innovative approach takes the advantage of the different expression profiles of certain protein between tumor and healthy cells that make to infect only in the first one. In short, act as terminators for the tumor cells.
A small infectious agent that can replicate inside the other cells of living organisms. Viruses can infect in all life forms, from animals and plants to microorganism. Viruses can communicate easily in our body through the air and another medium. They carry genetic material, reproduce and, evolve through natural selection.
Problems in conventional cancer therapy and how to overcome that:
In conventional cancer therapy, undesirable side-effects are seen as a result of poor selectivity. This creates a situation of depression for the cancer survivors afterward. To avoid them, it is necessary to use different therapies for the cancer treatment. One of the new approaches is based on the development of oncolytic viruses.
The scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine and IDIBAPS jointly devised a new strategy to get genetically modified viruses that selectively attack tumor cells and keeping the healthy tissues intact. The scientists have worked with adenoviruses, a family of viruses that can cause infection of the respiratory tract, the unary tract, and conjunctivitis.
They have special features, making it attractive to use in the therapy against tumors. In the study, the researchers have inserted the sequences that recognize CPEB proteins in the key region for the control of virus proteins. Their activities were checked in vitro models of pancreatic cancer and the control of tumor growth was observed in the mouse models.
The oncoselective viruses were very sophisticated, being activated by CPEB4 and but repressed by CPEB1. Thus, researchers received attenuated viral activity in normal cells, while in tumor cells the virus potency was maintained or even increased.
This is not the first time when the viruses are used for the medical treatment purposes. There are a lot of experiments, which have done for the treatment in medical sciences.
Geneticists often use viruses as vectors to introduce genes into the cells that they are studying. It shows the promising use in the treatment of cancer and in Gene therapy. As from the viewpoint of a material scientist, viruses can be regarded as organic nanoparticles. Their surface carries specific tools designed to cross the barriers of their host cells.
Researchers are trying to combine the therapy, with others already been used in medical science.