A new technology developed by UZH researchers enables the body to produce therapeutic agents on demand at the exact location where they are needed. The innovation could reduce the side effects of cancer therapy and may hold the solution to better delivery of Covid-related therapies directly to the lungs.
Scientists at the University of Zurich have modified a common respiratory virus, called adenovirus, to act like a Trojan horse to deliver genes for cancer therapeutics directly into tumor cells. Unlike chemotherapy or radiotherapy, this approach does no harm to normal healthy cells. Once inside tumor cells, the delivered genes serve as a blueprint for therapeutic antibodies, cytokines and other signaling substances, which are produced by the cancer cells themselves and act to eliminate tumors from the inside out.