Artificial viruses stimulate the immune system to fight cancer

Scientists have created Designer virus to target Cancer Cells. These viruses activate the immune system to fight cancer cells.

Cancer cells often escape from the body’s immune system. This helps in their Malignancy into the advanced stage 4 Cancer where they spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymphatic systems.

To create a precise and targeted immune response towards cancer cells, Scientists engineered a non-infectious designer virus.

The designer virus carries a protein only found in cancer cells. The immune system recognizes the virus as a foreign material in the body and tumor-specific proteins direct the immune response at tumor cells only.

Infection with the designer virus enables the immune system to generate a large number of killer cells known as killer T lymphocytes. Which then attack and infiltrate the tumor cells and destroy them.

The Virus also helps the immune system to create Memory T cells. Memory T cells retain a memory of fighting the cancer cells and remain in the body for several years.

Even after a single infectious encounter with the virus. These memory cells can respond more quickly   to the same cancer cells again which could mean lasting protection against cancer.

To test the virus, researchers first injected the mice with tumor cells. After 9 days, mice were given the engineered virus intravenously. The tumor grew slightly in mice given the artificial virus but then it stopped growing after about three days.

About 35perecent of the infected mice were still alive after 30 days. Whereas the mice who did not receive the artificial virus had 6 times increased tumor size in 20days and all those mice were dead within 30 days.

While the virus didn’t stop the mice from dying, it did significantly slow tumor growth and delay death.

Researchers hope that such designer virus technology can eventually be used to treat human cancers.

 Credits:  Cambridge University, Dr.Cecil  Fox / Wiki

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