Tel Aviv University (TAU), located in central Israel, released a statement on Sunday announcing that Israeli scientists have found a technique that causes cancer cells to self-produce toxins and thereby “commit suicide.”
According to the announcement, TAU researchers “for the first time in the world” used messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules to directly deliver a bacterial toxin to cancer cells in a study that was published in the journal Theranostics.
The cancer cells thus created the same toxin as the bacteria did, which finally killed them with a success rate of up to 60%.
In contrast to chemotherapy treatments, which are not selective and also destroy healthy cells, the concept was to give harmless mRNA molecules translated for a bacterial toxin specifically to the cancer cells.
The team first used experiments to encode the genetic material of the poisonous protein made by the pseudomonas bacteria into mRNA molecules.
To make sure that the “recipe” for making the poison would reach the cancer cells, these molecules were subsequently enclosed in lipid nanoparticles and covered with antibodies.
44 to 60 percent of the cancer cells vanished following one injection of the particles into the tumors of mice with melanoma skin cancer.
The novel technique, according to the researchers, may be utilized with a variety of anaerobic bacteria that secrete toxins, particularly those that reside in the ground and have potential as cancer treatments.
They added that because a different natural toxin may always be used, cancer cells cannot become resistant to the approach, as frequently occurs with chemotherapy.
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