Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
i v n i n seeks n e t o

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.

user:
pass:
register,


                                     

Cancer fighting Cancer

Better... stronger... faster!
  (+1)
(+1)
  [vote for,
against]

People get cancer. Why does the immune system not destroy these cells gone bad? Presumably the immune cells somehow restrain themselves from going after the cancer, believing the bad cells to be normal parts of the body. Alternatively, the cancer cells might have developed resistance to whatever weapons the immune cells have to fight them.

Cells taken from the body can be transformed in petri dishes - turned malignant. These cells grow without regard to the normal constraints of the body. In the case of cancer, these constraints might be preventing the generation of effective cancer fighting cells. I propose that immune cells from people with cancer be drawn out and transformed. The resulting transformed immune cells will then undergo selection in vitro together with cells from the patients cancer. The goal: evolve an cancer fighting immune cell which is not constrained by the ordinary limits on such cells.

Once the transformed cancer fighter has been perfected, legions of them will be infused back into the patient. The immune cells return, strong and strange, now deaf to misguided attempts of the body to suppress them. They destroy the cancer.

Since these transformed immune cells are themselves cancer, to get rid of them afterwards it might be necessary to use some sort of anti-lymphocyte chemo similar to that used againt leukemia.

bungston, Apr 30 2004

Cellular transformation http://www.hhmi.org...eral%2Fans_022.html
[bungston, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Use a retrovirus to change the cells instead http://www.medicine...9/fibronectin99.htm
The retrovirus reconfigures the cell's makeup [xclamp, Oct 05 2004]

Cancer cells differ from normal cells in the following ways: http://www.google.c...ng+ways&btnG=Search
According to Google. [dpsyplc, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

DNA Repair Enzymes http://www.biochem..../repair/udgase.html
It's just something that needs to be done. [dpsyplc, Oct 05 2004]

Just read this and thought it was interesting. http://www.technolo...wo_harney043004.asp
"Nano Weapons Join the Fight Against Cancer" [half, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

[link]






       not far off (see link) sort of like hacking computer code with a virus to introduce a new function.
xclamp, Apr 30 2004
  

       Something's wrong with the logic. I'll not survive an argument over my point of view here, but let me offer some suggestions for improvements to the idea.   

       There are an array of potential markers and paths to destruction of external or internal threats to the body. Attending to antibody development solves one problem with managing tumors that could provide the body some relief by buying time. Cancer cells offer the body's defenses a less tempting target than normal cells, so the body's humoral defenses take a long while to come to focus. Cancer cells don't express as broad an array of surface proteins as do normal cells, in part because they aren't normal and in part because they are more alike each other than they are like the host. Any anti-cells to which tumors would play host would have to find a tumor within which to hide, or they would be recognized by your body as non-self and would be destroyed.   

       Cancerous cells are more similar to stem cells than to ordinary differentiated cells. Cultures of cancer cell lines grow without nurturing an organism, without playing host to immune defenses or chemotaxis. I am all but certain that cancer cells perform no specialized function within the tissue from which they arise with the exception of rudimentary cell life processes: excretion, respiration, reproduction. Viral DNA is likely more highly developed, kDalton for kDalton, than is tumor DNA. Don't confuse invasion with infection.   

       Also, regarding changes proposed to apply to normal cells. I'm speculating that your body 'learned' to ignore infected cells by disposing of the infinitesimal quantity of "non-self" matter ejected by cells at the point of viral entry -- lysozyme, lipids, phospate residue and the like join the mix. If you could design a small molecule that functioned like tissue complement and joined non-self material never found in humans to common cell wall molecules you'd really have something. This is probably the mechanism of action of some drugs that capitalize on the presence of uracil in viral or bacterial chromosomes.   

       Finally, I'm a little squeamish about messing with amplification of the body's immune system, as this is generally bad, bad, bad. There's an interesting line of inquiry into how we owe our ability to conceive and bear a fetus to generations of viral infections, and look at what bad things we've done when we found the cellular defenses weren't that hard to beat.
dpsyplc, Apr 30 2004
  

       I think you'd be more likely to give yourself an autoimmune disorder than cure cancer using this. The cancer cells are just as "selfed" as anything else in the body.
Madcat, Apr 30 2004
  

       [marked-for-deletion], bad science. magic. I find this one disturbing on many levels.
zigness, Apr 30 2004
  

       the general idea is an interesting one, i think if couched in more generalized terms (focus less on the precise 'how') we could avoid the 'bad science' label. as the links demonstrate there is current research along this path. this idea would at least be a jumping off point.   

       sometimes ideas are more question than answer, especially in science, and this idea raises an interesting question: in empiric terms, cancer cells have exquisite abilities (e.g. proliferation, hardiness, adaptability); how can they be repurposed for the good of the host organism? too early too give it the bad science label. i stick with the (+).   

       p.s. one of my favorite quotes (wish the bastard who said it had been born with a more fortunate name though):   

       A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietlystrangled. --Sir Barnett Cocks (1907 - 1989)
xclamp, May 01 2004
  

       Is there some reason why we can't use anti-lymphocyte chemotherapy in the first place. Why take the extra step?
WordUp, May 01 2004
  

       I don't know why [zigness] says this is bad science and magic, because it can't be any worse than chemo and other medieval tortures that are routinely applied to unsuspecting disease victims. And it already happens naturally—diseases like T-Cell Lymphoma. I'm not sure if there's any study that shows that it suppresses other cancers, but it seems reasonable that it would. Anyway, a plus.
ldischler, May 01 2004
  

       //I propose that immune cells from people with cancer be drawn out and transformed. The resulting transformed immune cells will then undergo selection in vitro together with cells from the patients cancer. The goal: evolve an cancer fighting immune cell which is not constrained by the ordinary limits on such cells. //   

       This is the line that gets the magic label from me. Somebody show me HOW this might actually WORK, and I'll remove the MFD gladly.
zigness, May 01 2004
  

       Grey Goo.
gnomethang, May 01 2004
  

       Well, okay. Let’s say you have an array of a thousand wells. You put a transformed T-cell into each, along with a bit of the cancer. The only thing the T-cell can eat is the cancer (I’m naively assuming they can live off a diet of cancer cells), otherwise it dies. After a period of time, select the well with the most T-cells daughters, then do the entire process again with that one T-cell line split into another thousand cells. Do it many times if you like. And best if you engineer some Achilles heel into the T-cells, so that they can be easily destroyed later.
ldischler, May 01 2004
  

       "A thousand wells" Mighty deep subject.
dpsyplc, May 02 2004
  

       [zigness] I request that you remove the MFD call. The idea is a call ("the goal:") for research into combating the mechanism that subdues the immune system with regard to malignancies. Seems valid to me even though it might not be possible.
bristolz, May 16 2004
  

       //Presumably the immune cells somehow restrain themselves from going after the cancer, believing the bad cells to be normal parts of the body. Alternatively, the cancer cells might have developed resistance //   

       My understanding is that the former is the case and not the latter. In effect, the immune cells *do* think the cancer is part of the body - because, at a molecular level, part of the body is exactly what the cancer is - isn't it?   

       So, if you re-train them to attack the cancer, you're re-training them to attack something that looks like part of the body. When they are re-introduced to the body, they will find that parts of the body also look like parts of the body, and attack those too, won't they?   

       So, what [Madcat] said.
pertinax, Dec 13 2006
  
      
[annotate]
  


 

back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle