Categories: Sci/Tech

DNA Trojan Horse Tricks Cancer Cells into Consuming Drugs!

The story of the Trojan horse might be the key to curing cancer!

While cancer has been around for years and years (more than a million years, in fact!), we’re still working on finding an effective way to get rid of it without making the rest of the body sicker. Sure, chemotherapy and some forms of alternative medicine can help, but what’s one surefire way to make sure the cancer is gone and stays gone?

Scientists from the Ohio State University are developing a new cancer treatment that involves conning the cancer cells into consuming common cancer drugs, and thereby successfully killing them. This method can be likened to a Trojan Horse, where a drug enters the body in disguise.

The story of the Trojan horse might just be the key to curing cancer.

The drug formulated to kill cancer is hidden inside a capsule made of DNA. This DNA is formed into folded up nano-structures called DNA Origamis. Once the cancer cells detect this DNA, they’ll mistake it for food and will consume it. But once the capsule breaks down while inside the cancer cell, the drug will be released.

This released drug can kill the cancer cell within just 15 hours. It can even break through drug resistance in solid tumors, as well as drug-resistant leukemia cells.

John Byrd is a professor of internal medicine and director of the Division of Hematology in Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

According to Byrd:

“Cancer cells have novel ways of resisting drugs, like these pumps, and the exciting part of packaging the drug this way is that we can circumvent those defenses so that the drug accumulates in the cancer cell and causes it to die.

“Potentially, we can also tailor these structures to make them deliver drugs selectively to cancer cells and not to other parts of the body where they can cause side effects.”

Leukemia cells are known to be resistant to cancer drugs.

But there’s no threat to the other healthy cells within the body, since the capsules are designed to deliver the drugs to the cancer cell only. So far, this has only been carried out in a lab setting using mice, but the results are promising.

It’s still a long way to go before the researchers can perform clinical trials. But learning the effectiveness of these results in lab settings could point us towards a way to successfully kill off cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone!

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