- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Patient-friendly and Safe Is Gene Therapy, the New Cancer Cure
This new cure of cancer by gene therapy has no side effects
We said that the new cancer cure (NCC) is better than chemotherapy. As we know, cancer started as a tumor in one cell that grew in an uncontrolled manner, produced a lump, broke out of the cell matrix into the blood and lymph fluid and traveled to any part of the body. This process is called metastasis.
Let’s review what is chemotherapy and NCC. Chemo is the use of drugs to treat or cure cancer. Chemo is given either by infusion or by mouth. Chemo is carried by the blood to any part of the body where cancer cells might be forming a new colony. The active ingredients of a chemo drug, like Adriamycin, are free radicals, like singlet oxygen that kill the cancer cell and healthy cells in the vicinity as well. That is, healthy cells that were hit by the cascade of singlet oxygen. Dividing human cells, or fast growing cells are vulnerable to singlet oxygen, like blood and hair cells, that is why the side effects. Given in overdose, chemo drugs cause cancer.
Therefore, chemo is not patient-friendly. It is indiscriminate, killing both cancer and healthy cells if not delivered in a highly precise manner on target. (I have a Hub on how chemotherapy works).
This new cancer cure (NCC) is delivered highly precisely on target cancer cells. NCC is actually gene therapy. (I have a Hub “Better than chemotherapy, a new method to cure cancer”).
To start with, our heredity materials are the chromosomes. A normal human being has 46 chromosomes, 23 chromosomes are contributed by each parent. A chromosome is composed of thousands of genes. Each gene is in pairs, each member is called allele. A gene is made of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that contains information codes that shows up in the human being. For example, BRCA1 is an information code that shows up as breast cancer when mutated. Each code consists of three nucleotides in sequence. For example, A is a nucleotide, B is another nucleotide, C is another nucleotide The sequence ABC shows as normal black mole in the face. But the sequence BCA shows as a red mole in the face. A red mole is cancerous. That is why the sequence is important.
The information code ABC can be recognized as a recognition site by a cutting enzyme. This is like a pair of scissors, only it is produced by cells, especially by bacterial cells. Suppose you want to grow a mole, look into the DNA the information code that produces mole cut it away then implant it into your body. But that is making the story short and simplistic.
We want to trace in broad outline gene therapy for cancer. Suppose ABC is the information code that we need and find in the DNA. We make a copy of ABC by means of DNA cloning. How do we intend ABC to work? ABC is the gene that controls the production of enzyme that catalyzes the production of nitric oxide. We call that inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). The nitric oxide (NO), a gas free radical, that it produces kills cancer cells.
Actually, our body normally makes iNOS but in small amounts. We need more iNOS in a concentrated amount because the occurrence of cancer is abnormal. The production of more iNOS can be induced by ABC.
We need a carrier that will deliver ABC to cancer cells, Once ABC lands in the cancer cells, it will produce NO that kills the cancer cells by apoptosis. In normal cells, apoptosis is programmed cell death. For example, blood has a normal life span of 140 days so that when it reaches that limit, its nucleus will shrink and die off naturally. (it is unlike cell injury that involves inflammation). It will be engulfed by neighboring healthy cells. However, a tumor or cancer owing to several mutations that it had sustained will not apoptose. It will grow uncontrolled. So, actually, this gene therapy is a way to revive the natural programmed death that is apoptosis. New blood cells are produced by the bone marrow that will replace the apoptosed blood cells. L-arginine acted upon by iNOS produces NO. it helps to have a supplement of L-arginine. .
The apoptosed cancer cells will also be ejected by the body by macrophages, components of immune system, that engulf foreign bodies, including fibers of asbestos. Also they will be engulfed by healthy neighboring cells.
We have a piece of ABC already. Now we need a carrier. The carrier is protein envelop of a virus of the kind retrovirus. This consists of a RNA (ribonucleic acid). RNA is a messenger that humans consider as neither dead nor living. But once RNA virus finds a host, it will awaken, as it were, commandeers the DNA of the host and will infect and multiply. That’s right, the RNA virus becomes alive in a live host. Our concern is that our carrier should not be able to infect and multiply. Our carrier, protein envelop, cannot infect or multiply because it is like a coat, it has no RNA inside it.This protein coat is produced by a separate enzyme, also controlled by a gene.
This carrier, carrying our iNOS must precisely land on the target cancer cell. Let’s label the gene of this carrier, abc. Carriers (protein envelops) are mass produced by cloning. How do we ensure that carriers will land in a precise manner? The cancer cell produces a marker called carcinogembrionic antigen (CEA). The surface of each cancer cell is modified with the use of an antibody The carrier finds the marker only and will not land on any other cell, especially healthy cells, in the vicinity.
Already we have genes at hand: ABC, abc, and antibody. Let’s assemble them together. Put them inside a test tube and mix them. The genes must be linked together; they know their respective places. That is done with the addition of DNA ligase in the mixture. This enzyme sews up the genes together. There, at this point, you have produced a recombinant DNA.
I am using popularized names or labels to simplify. My elaboration is based on laboratory procedures that even the expert can recheck, especially with the highly technical book, "Nitric Oxide Protocols."
[Optional reading. What we have done so far is duplicate the natural process of the immune system, as follows: When a microbe enters the body, the T-helper cells (patrolmen and commanders) ring the alarm bell and the T-killer cells and macrophage multiply their number (by cloning) very fast for battle. Macrophage (a B-cell), plucks a marker, called antigen, from the surface of the microbe and attaches it on its surface. The T-killer cells find the microbes by this marker and mount a weapon, called antibody, against the microbe. The antibody changes the size and shape of the microbe. If it were a virus, a virus whose size and shape had been changed cannot enter the cell because it cannot find an opening that fits it. Therefore, it fails to infect. Macrophage and neutrophils engulf microbes especially those that were changed in size and shape by the antibodies. They die together with the microbes in the process producing pus that are ejected from the body. When the enemy had been defeated B-cells die off; some B-cells live as Memory cells that will mount battle against the same microbe that will try to infect, immunizing the body (Jaret, P. Our Immune System: Wars Within. National Geographic. June 1986). That's how vaccination works. T means an immune cell originating from the bone morrow that develops in the thymus gland. B means an immune cell originating in the bone morrow that develops there.]
Let’s make several copies of this recombinant DNA by inserting it in a virus then grow this virus in a medium. Virus multiplies its population by two every 20 minutes that is why we can make plenty of recombinant DNA in a short time. We harvest only the recombinant DNA that we made then prepare them like vaccine. The virus that served as factory will not be used.
To repeat: ABC is the gene that controls iNOS; abc is the gene of the carrier of iNOS;CEA is the marker of cancer cells. Also provided is gene of an antibody that modifies the surface of the cancer cells such that they are recognized by the carriers. The antibody gene is monoclonal antibody clone F11-39, form scFv.
Now our recombinant DNA can be administered like an ordinary vaccine. There will be no rejection so there is no need for a suppressant like in chemo.
“…The recombinant retrovirus showed a specific delivery of the iNOS gene to human CEA-expressing carcinoma cells and directly killed the infected cells by induction of apoptosis without any additional drugs” (Hassid, A. Editor. Nitric Oxide Protocols. Kuroki, M. "Gene Therapy in Cancer Via Use of a Retrovector Having a Tumor Specificity and Expressing Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase." 2004:202).
CEA means carcinoembrionic antigen. It is exuded by each cancer cell and is found in the surface of each cancer cell. “Additional drug” refers to suppressants like prednisone.
Nitric oxide kills cancer cells
Once in the cancer cell, iNOS induces the production of NO. This free radical kills mutated cells that block apoptosis. That is why, ultimately, the cancer cells are killed or thrown away by apoptosis.
In theory, there are no side effects of this gene therapy. However, It must pass the three phases of trial. This cure must be added to the presently approved methods of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy that is also indiscriminate in killing both cancer and healthy cells. Surgery is useful only if the cancer is detected early and is still localized.
This gene therapy is a cure for cancer because the cancerous cells once killed by nitric oxide will not recur. The dead cancer cells are engulfed by macrophage, healthy neighboring cells and thrown away by apoptosed cells.
So far only three kinds of cells do not undergo apoptosis: brain cells, nerve cells and cardiovascular cells like arteries and heart. How to deal with cancer that might afflict them?
Still this new cancer cure will apply. Nitric oxide kills cancer cells in any kind of cell whether it undergoes apoptosis or not.
In case any cell or organ needs repair, we have stem cell therapy. (I have a Hub "The Latest: Oral Stem Cell Therapy Regrows Damaged Organs like Ears, Heart, Kidney, Liver":)
[Steps in recombinant DNA: the base, GAATTC is for demonstration purposes only; it is not the real information code of the gene of iNOS. G means guanine; A means adenosine; T means thymine; C means cytosine.]