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Suicide Gene Therapy Kills Bowel Cancer Cells

ere the cells stop functioning. They have no choice but to shut down and die.

Another benefit of the therapy is that it doesnt just kill only the cancer cells infected by the virus.

"We also see a significant 'bystander effect'," added Prof Springer. "This means the cells killed by the virus or the drug release signals into the tumour that tell neighbouring cancer cells to die too."

In lab experiments, mice with bowel tumours that received the therapy lived twice as long as those that did not. The researchers suggest their technique could one day be used as a treatment for advanced bowel cancer that doesnt respond to standard chemotherapy.

Professor John Toy, medical director of Cancer Research UK, said: "GDEPT therapy has been in development for several years. But this study shows the technique always a smart therapy is becoming ever more sophisticated. For the first time it has been shown to be effective at killing bowel cancer cells in a laboratory model of human colon cancer. This is another stride towards the possible use of GDEPT for cancer patients."


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