Issels Integrative Immuno-Oncology September 6, 2018  

New Research: Programmed DNA Delivers Targeted Cancer Treatment

Dear Friend,

DNA carries the genetic information that makes you who you are. While DNA directs protein production by cells, scientists have discovered a way to turn DNA into an on/off switch for applications in cancer treatment.

DNA: A Protein Computer

In essence, DNA operates like a computer. Just as all digital data relies on various configurations of a two-component code, DNA uses different arrangements of a four-component code to determine which proteins need to be manufactured.

This similarity has given rise to a field called DNA computing. A research team at the University of Delaware (UD) recently engineered DNA strands with a code to create circuits programmed to open and close based on a specific logic.

Leveraging DNA Code

The next step was to make and purify the proteins that the scientists wanted to use. Once the custom-made DNA strands were received from the manufacturer, the proteins were attached to form protein-DNA conjugates.

When the DNA circuits were tested on both E. coli bacteria and human cells, the target proteins went through a series of stages just as they had been programmed to do.

Applications for Cancer Treatment

Once the DNA circuits proved to be successful, the UD team tested them with cancer prodrugs, which are inert until they're metabolized into therapeutic form. The scientist designed DNA circuits to control the protein that triggers metabolism of the prodrug. Professor Wilfred Chen, lead author of the study, anticipates a future of "plug-and-play" DNA circuits.

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Our non-toxic integrative cancer treatment programs often incorporate FDA-approved gene-targeted therapies, and other methods that address a patient's individual needs. Contact us to learn more.

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New Research: Programmed DNA Delivers Targeted Cancer Treatment

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Highlighting a DNA-Based Lymphoma Treatment

One of the benefits of cancer immunotherapy is that it can offer options for patients when other treatments have failed. Doctors are having success with a new DNA-based treatment for certain forms of lymphoma.

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (or CAR T-cell therapy) may sound complicated, but the basic principle is simple. CAR T-cell therapy, like most types of cancer immunotherapy, works by boosting the ability of a patient's own immune system to fight cancer.

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Specialized DNA Nanobots Close Cancer Tumor's Blood Supply

Future cancer treatment options may include an army of tiny tumor-fighting nanobots. Researchers conducted the test on a group of mice with human breast cancer tumors. Specially engineered DNA nanobots containing a payload of thrombin, an enzyme that causes blood to clot, were then injected intravenously into the affected mice.

Once inside, the nanobots delivered the thrombin directly to tumor-associated blood vessels, where they induced intra vascular thrombosis. As a result, cancer cells were deprived of their blood supply and ultimately died off.

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Videos – What Do Patients Say About Their Experience?

Watch videos of patients who share their own experiences at the Issels clinics with you. Listen to their stories and cancer journeys.

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