The Power of Targeting, Modularity

Via EurekAlert!, one example of work to combine targeting mechanisms with anti-cancer mechanisms to safely attack cancer cells. Here, researchers "slowed the growth of two particularly stubborn solid tumor cancers - neuroblastoma and peripheral nerve sheath tumors - without harming healthy tissues by inserting instructions to inhibit tissue growth into an engineered virus ... this [therapy] enhanced anti-tumor activity by stimulating multiple biological processes, including directly killing the cancer cells and reducing the formation of blood vessels that fed the tumors ... oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV) and similar viruses can infect and kill human cancer cells without harming normal, healthy cells or causing disease. [Researchers armed] oHSV with a gene that carries instructions for a cancer-fighting protein, human tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3). TIMP3 blocks enzymes that aid the development and progression of cancer, called matrix of metalloproteinases (MMP)." While this is not as effective as other examples, the present breadth of exploratory work in targeted cancer therapies is impressive. Most importantly, even partial successes yield improved component parts for other targeted therapies - the modularity of this work greatly speeds overall progress.


Comment Submission

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.