Show Details

Cancer vs. Cancer

July 17, 2018

Turning cancer cells into cancer-fighting machines.



Cancer versus cancer. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

The best way to attack cancer cells may be with other cancer cells. This according to neurosurgeon Khalid Shah at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and his colleagues, writing in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Shah says the cells have a finely-tuned ability to sniff out their own kind.

KHALID SHAH (Brigham and Women’s Hospital):

We use their homing properties to target their own cancer cells.


In a mouse model of an aggressive brain tumor, the team removed some of the tumor cells, genetically engineered them to produce a cancer drug, and then reinjected them. The engineered cells accurately targeted the tumor without affecting healthy tissue. Shah says they’re even able to track down cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body. While promising, the therapy will still need to undergo testing for human safety and efficacy. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.

Story by Bob Hirshon