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Cancer Vaccine to Simultaneously Kill and Prevent Brain Cancer Developed

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Scientists developed a bifunctional therapeutic strategy by transforming living tumor cells into a therapeutic. Shah’s team engineered living tumor cells using the gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 and repurposed them to release tumor cell killing agent. In addition, the engineered tumor cells were designed to express factors that would make them easy for the immune system to spot, tag and remember, priming the immune system for a long-term anti-tumor response.

The team tested their repurposed CRISPR-enhanced and reverse-engineered therapeutic tumor cells (ThTC) in different mice strains including the one that bore bone marrow, liver and thymus cells derived from humans, mimicking the human immune microenvironment. Shah’s team also built a two-layered safety switch into the cancer cell, which, when activated, eradicates ThTCs if needed. Credit: Kok Siong Chen and Khalid Shah.

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