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Blood fluke celluvores

Modified blood flukes which gorge on cancer cells.
  [vote for,

At the moment, I am too lazy to research the characteristics of various types of blood flukes. But if we removed their ability to reproduce, tied a filament around them, so they'd eventually choke on their own obesity, and sent them through the blood stream in search of cells with well-known carcinogenic markers...
4and20, Nov 17 2014


       Um, what if the cancer isn't a leukaemia?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 17 2014


       " At the moment, I am too lazy to research "
normzone, Nov 17 2014

       There doesn't appear to be any way Schistoma could specifically be targeted at cancer cells. They don't interact with cells at the level of genetic or cell surface markers where cancerous cells are readily targeted. They don't have any reason to preferentially target fast growing cells.   

       Therefore, [marked-for-deletion] bad science.
MechE, Nov 17 2014

       It seems as if the main cause of mortality with cancer is metastasis. True, those cells probably have distinctive markers, but if they metastasize through the blood, they're fair game. I also seem to remember that malignant tumours need steady blood supplies.   

       It also thrills me to report that there are more than 20,000 species of Trematoda. I wash my hands.
4and20, Nov 18 2014

       //I wash my hands.// Probably a good idea with all those flukes about.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 18 2014

       it's probably a whole lot easier to engineer some host immune cells to react to a given marker than to engineer an organism that is little used in science. Also, even if it works, you'll have a whole load of blood flukes about, which are going to be selected. Eventually one of them will get the bright idea of reacting to a different antigen... then you have a blood fluke problem.
bs0u0155, Nov 18 2014

       "Well, Mrs. Spinkhorn, I have some good news and some bad news. You're not going to die of metastasizing colon cancer..."   

       And what [bs] said. Host immune cells have all the necessary machinery and are made for the job. If we could target flukes to attack cancer cells, we could target the immune system more easily.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 18 2014

       regarding cancerous cells that are not in the bloodstream, it's no fluke that immune cells can worm their way into tissue.
bs0u0155, Nov 18 2014

       // if we removed their ability to reproduce, tied a filament around them, so they'd eventually choke on their own obesity //   

       That would work on Americans, too ...
8th of 7, Nov 22 2014


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