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New cancer therapy

Scientists at EARA member the University of Zurich, Switzerland have developed a new technology which instructs cancer cells to start killing themselves.

Using a modified version of a common virus to deliver genes directly to the tumour, the team were able to trick the cells into producing anti-cancer antibodies.

In a study published in PNAS, the researchers were able to instruct tumour cells in a mouse model of breast cancer to start producing Herceptin, a clinically approved breast cancer antibody treatment, and found that the levels of antibody in the tumour were higher than if they had administered the drug through the normal route.

“The therapeutic agents mostly stay at the place in the body where they’re needed instead of spreading throughout the bloodstream where they can damage healthy organs and tissues,” said research group leader Andreas Plückthun.

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