All posts by ysyeseul

Finding Possible Treatment for the Breast Cancer

According to a research, about one in eight women suffer from the breast cancer in their lifetime.  Furthermore, the death rate of the breast cancer is higher than any other types of cancer. The breast cancer is regarded as a conundrum. However, a team of researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland has found a way to invent a treatment for the breast cancer. They developed the new way to destroy cancer cell that they were not able to kill before.

Currently, antibodies such as pertuzumab and trastuzumab are used for the treatment of breast cancer. They detect and target HER2 which plays a vital role in the breast cancer. However, the antibodies only deactivate cancer cells, so cancer cells can be reactivated at any time.

The researchers wanted to find the reason why the antibodies cannot totally destroy the breast cancer cells. They figured out that HER2 uses multiple signaling pathways to develop and reproduce cancer cells, but commonly used antibodies are formed to only block one signaling pathway, which enables cancer cells to recrudesce.

The researchers also found out a solution to overcome the lack of antibodies. They made a protein compound which is able to combine itself with two HER2 receptors and change the structure of receptors. It prevents the growth signals from the RAS, a central hub in the cell, and reactivates the signals released by the HER2 receptor. Furthermore, the antibodies might have negative effects, attacking the healthy body cells, but this protein compound only targets the cancer cells.

It is expected that the way treating breast cancer will be more opened in the future through this research

 

 

<references>

http://www.medicaldaily.com/good-breast-cancer-genes-2-genes-linked-better-survival-rate-395235

http://www.medicaldaily.com/invasive-breast-cancer-new-treatment-388652

http://www.roche.com/research_and_development/what_we_are_working_on/oncology/about-her2-positive-breast-cancer.htm

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What is CRISPR Cas9?

Have you ever heard about hemophilia? It is a rare genetic disease that disables people from clotting blood. There is not yet therapy for hemophilia. However, a new technology to change the genes related to hemophilia was developed recently. The key point in this new technology is CRISPR-Cas9. It is genetic engineering tool which enables people to cut specific region of DNA and to insert another homologous DNA. Cas9 and guide RNA (gRNA) are important molecules in CRISPR-Cas9.

Cas9, a restriction enzyme, was first discovered in the 1980s. When a virus infects a bacteria, the bacteria cut the intruder’s DNA by using Cas9.

gRNA is made from a small piece of pre-designed RNA sequence. gRNA helps the Cas9 enzyme to cut particular regions of DNA.

CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspersed Short Palindromic Repeats. Also, Cas means “CRISPR associated.” Even though this method does not destroy surrounding genes, it is possible to change a particular DNA sequence. Treatments for hemophilia using CRISPR-Cas9 are being studied now in the USA. Researchers say, “If a ‘normal blood clotting factor’ gene is inserted into a hemophilia patient, his or her blood will be clotted.”

In addition to hemophilia, CRISPR therapy related to HIV is also being studied. HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that infects the body immune cells and corrupts the immune system.  One typical thing of HIV is that it can go into the immune cell using the specific receptor proteins that are on the surface of the immune cells. Using CRISPR method, scientists found out that getting rid of these proteins makes HIV unable to infect another cell. Then, without the proteins that enables them to infect other cells, HIVs cannot replicate themselves and therefore collapse.

Also, CRISPR is applied to not only curing genetic diseases but also developing plants and animals. By using CRISPR, researchers made MSTN, which limits the growth of pigs, not perform its role. As a result, researchers were able to get a “super pig,” that has more muscles than normal pigs.

The usage of CRISPR can make valuable crops. In 2016, Dr. Yang and his companions made new mushrooms that doesn’t turn into brown by eliminating the enzymes that cause browning in mushrooms. Korean researchers also developed various crops, such as lettuce that has resistance in harmful insects and bean that decreases the level of cholesterol.

Although CRISPR Cas9 is touted through many positive results, it is a controversial topic. For example, CRISPR Cas9 can be used in manipulating embryonic genes, which causes the whole fetus to change. Some countries prohibit this for ethical reasons. In contrast, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority authorized to alter human embryos in the UK in 2016. Even though there are lots of positive effect modifying genes, we must know that there are some ethical issues that we must concern.

References

http://www.alphr.com/bioscience/1001654/darpa-offers-50-million-to-make-crispr-gene-editing-safer
http://news.mk.co.kr/newsRead.php?year=2017&no=461478

http://science.ytn.co.kr/program/program_view.php?s_mcd=0082&s_hcd=0010&key=201706011107334239

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pp17E4E-O8

http://www.yourgenome.org/facts/what-is-crispr-cas9

DEVELOPING TREATMENT FOR CANCER

Do you know what is the most probable cause of death in Korea? It is cancer. However, many types of carcinostatic agents have developed over the years. There are three kinds of the carcinostatic drugs: chemical drug, target drug, immune drug. The problem of the chemical drug is that it attacks not only cancer cells but also normal cells. It causes many side effects such as hair loss or anemia. The target drug was studied to overcome this problem. It attacks only cancer cells. The target drug can discern what is the cancer cell or the normal cell by recognizing specific genes or proteins. For instance, a gene called BRCA that causes the breast cancer can be the target. However, sometimes these specific substances live in the normal cells. It results in the side effects. To be specific, there is Herceptin which attacks HER2. The problem is that HER2 is found not only in the cancer cell but also in the normal cell. For this reason, the side effect associated with a heart can occur. Furthermore, the cancer cell can come up with a new way to survive, when the target drug is prescribed. The immune drug is differentiated from the chemical agent and the target drug in the light of the fact that it does not attack the cancer cells directly. It attacks the cancer cells by using immune cells. It is hard for the immune cells to discern the cancer cells are enemies or not because the cancer cells apply immune escape strategy. However, the immune drug attacks immune escape substances. Therefore, immune cells can recognize that the cancer cells are enemies. Immune cells begin to attack the cancer cells. It can prevent the growth of the cancer cells. The advantage of the immune drug is that there are almost no side effects. Recently, the immune drug shows good results at the treating of lung cancer.

The problem of the chemical drug is that it attacks not only cancer cells but also normal cells. It causes many side effects such as hair loss or anemia. The target drug was studied to overcome this problem. It attacks only cancer cells. The target drug can discern what is the cancer cell or the normal cell by recognizing specific genes or proteins. For instance, a gene called BRCA that causes the breast cancer can be the target. However, sometimes these specific substances live in the normal cells. It results in the side effects. To be specific, there is Herceptin which attacks HER2. The problem is that HER2 is found not only in the cancer cell but also in the normal cell. For this reason, the side effect associated with a heart can occur. Furthermore, the cancer cell can come up with a new way to survive, when the target drug is prescribed. The immune drug is differentiated from the chemical agent and the target drug in the light of the fact that it does not attack the cancer cells directly. It attacks the cancer cells by using immune cells. It is hard for the immune cells to discern the cancer cells are enemies or not because the cancer cells apply immune escape strategy. However, the immune drug attacks immune escape substances. Therefore, immune cells can recognize that the cancer cells are enemies. Immune cells begin to attack the cancer cells. It can prevent the growth of the cancer cells. The advantage of the immune drug is that there are almost no side effects. Recently, the immune drug shows good results at the treating of lung cancer.

The immune drug is differentiated from the chemical agent and the target drug in the light of the fact that it does not attack the cancer cells directly. It attacks the cancer cells by using immune cells. It is hard for the immune cells to discern the cancer cells are enemies or not because the cancer cells apply immune escape strategy. However, the immune drug attacks immune escape substances. Therefore, immune cells can recognize that the cancer cells are enemies. Immune cells begin to attack the cancer cells. It can prevent the growth of the cancer cells. The advantage of the immune drug is that there are almost no side effects. Recently, the immune drug shows good results at the treating of lung cancer.

 

Reference : http://science.ytn.co.kr/program/program_view.php?s_mcd=0082&key=201707061056052577