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WSU researcher creates patented personalized therapy that causes cancer cells to kill themselves
Date:2/28/2011

"To further understand this anti-cancer technology," he continued, "recollect the plot from the movie, Independence Day. In this movie, a computer virus is introduced into an alien ship to neutralize its defenses and make it vulnerable to external weapons. We do something similar but much better by introducing the altered genetic code of DNase1 into the DNA of cancer cells alien to the healthy body." The cancer cell, unaware of the destructive potential of the modified code, translates it into a protein that evades the cell's defense mechanisms and enters the nucleus. In the nucleus, the protein damages DNA by chopping it into fragments without the need for external weaponry, i.e., other medications. Following damage to DNA, the cell's organelles disintegrate and the cancer cell dies. In this way, Dr. Rosner's technology leads cancer cells into committing suicide because he fools them into generating the protein that will cause their own death.

The beauty of this therapy is that specifically-targeted cancer cells destroy themselves through the physiological mechanism of apoptosis, leaving surrounding healthy cells intact. This mode of cancer cell elimination leaves no residual debris to alert the immune system to kick in, essentially committing "the perfect crime," Dr. Rosner said. This is important because the many side effects of current anti-cancer treatments are attributed to activation of the immune system. The fact that this therapy does not require participation of the patient's immune system to kill cancer cells is a big advantage over other newly developed technologies, such as the cancer vaccine. Those technologies depend on the patient's immune system to destroy cancer. Unfortunately, they are not effective in the presence of a compromised immune system, which is true for many cancer patients. In contrast, Dr. Rosner's therapy will be able to treat even the most severely immuno-compromised patients with the same degree of success as in treating p
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Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

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