Scientists around the world are developing alternative methods of cancer treatment, improved techniques, advanced surgeries are being performed to fight the disease. In modern cancer therapy, side effects are already much less significant than 30 years ago. Life expectancy with many cancer patients increased significantly. It is not a problem anymore toe achieve complete removal of single metastases to the liver, lungs and other important body organs. And although modern methods of treatment are effective, we are still lacking a more accurate and precise weapon against cancer.

Most chemotherapy drugs in addition to the healing antitumor effect carry some serious side effects. It is important to understand, that the drug is being spread through bloodstream throughout the body and destroys not only cancer cells, but also endothelium of the intestine, hair follicles and even bone marrow. In addition to stopping or slowing the uncontrolled cell division of cancer, drugs can cause immune deficiencies, hepatitis, and other serious complications.

Malignant cells will destroy themselves

Blood cells - illustrationResearchers of the California Institute of Technology offered an alternative and promising technique. Doctors have long sought to selectively act on cancer cells, destroying only them. But this is only be achieved by manipulating the DNA of the cell. Scientists have developed a special non-coding RNA molecule, which is being implemented in the replication process only when an oncological mutation is present.

The new method comprises of two connected RNA molecules. One detects a mutation of the genome, and the second, by attaching itself to the RNA of a cancer cell, starts a chain reaction of creating a long molecule, which is perceived as a virus. This violates the already unbalanced intracellular metabolism and stops the immortality cycle of the abnormal cancer cell . Thus, we can induce a selective self-destruction of mutated cells only. For many years oncologists have been trying to destroy the cancer with viruses, because those are capable of destroying the cells from within. During the experiment scientists were able to selectively kill cancer cells of the prostate, bone and brain. It turns out that viruses aren’t needed to implement virus therapy, simply to imitating them is quite enough.