This new technique forced the cancer cells to destroy the tumor

© Fotolia / crevisРаковая cell in the human body. Archival photoThis new technique forced the cancer cells to destroy the tumor© Fotolia / crevisПодпишись to daily updates RIA Science

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Scientists from Harvard medical school in the United States have developed two methods of combating tumors with genetically modified cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream. Their study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Circulating tumor cells separate from the original produced in the body tumors and enter the bloodstream, but in the future can return to the tumor. They are cells responsible for the appearance of metastases — distant secondary foci of disease.

As a means against tumors, the researchers used the so-called protein-assassin’S-TRAIL, which proved to be the least harmful to healthy cells of the body. This protein is able to trigger apoptosis — programmed cell death.

In their study, the doctors tried two approaches to therapy circulating cells. In the first case, they used glioblastoma cells — an aggressive brain tumor, initially resistant to S-TRAIL. However, subjecting them to genetic modification, scientists have been able to get them to actively produce the protein-killer, and then injected these cells experimental mice with primary tumors.

The second method used for mice with re-occurring tumors. Of tissue primary tumors scientists obtained cells sensitive to S-TRAIL, and with the help of genetic engineering was first off the receptors responsible for this susceptibility to cell not killed himself prematurely. Then the prepared cells are forced to produce S-TRAIL and introduced their animals. In both types of cells embedded «switch» that triggers the process of self-destruction of cells-killers after treatment.

According to scientists, both of the tested method was effective. The tests also included mice with primary and secondary brain tumors and breast cancer. As a result, physicians were able to reduce the size of the tumors all types, a mouse that had received such treatment, were able to live longer.