Scientists from Switzerland have created a modified virus that causes cancer to kill itself.
An innovative drug technology uses a mutated virus to produce and transport anticancer therapeutic agents directly into cancer-affected tissues in the body. Cytokines, antibodies and other substances necessary for treatment are produced by cancer cells and fight the tumor from the inside, destroying it.
The new method is called SHREAD. The University of Zurich released a statement on May 18 that highlights the benefits of the innovative methodology. Unlike radiation or chemotherapy, this method does not damage healthy cells and does not cause side effects. The researchers claim that their development also solves other problems – it helps to transport drugs to target organs for other ailments (including coronavirus) and reduce side effects in the treatment of cancer patients with classical methods.
The virus modified by scientists is a common respiratory pathogen, an adenovirus, used in the production of a number of vector vaccines against coronavirus. Sheena Smith, the author of a unique development, notes that this technology tricks the tumor into “killing itself by producing anti-cancer agents with its own cells.”
SHREAD testing in mice with breast cancer has shown that, compared to direct injection of the drug, this method allows you to get significantly more antibodies. In addition, in this case, the cardiovascular system is not used for transportation, which minimizes the risk of side effects. Andreas Plaktun, head of the research team of scientists, explains:
“Therapeutic agents, such as antibodies or signaling agents, generally remain where they are needed in the body, rather than spreading through the bloodstream, where they can harm healthy organs and tissues.”