Moderna Therapeutics has launched a study of a new method of treating cancer directly in humans. The essence of therapy is to teach each individual organism to recognize cancer cells as an enemy. And let the immune system of a particular person destroy the infection itself, or at least make the work of doctors easier.
The reason for the breakthrough was a sharp reduction in the cost of genome sequencing services in recent years. Today it is quite possible to take 1 cubic meter from a patient. mm of cancer tissue, study its genetic code, develop a "weapon" of 20 target proteins and make a DNA template for the antibody. Then the information is transcribed into RNA, which is injected back into the patient, and his body begins to build the killers of cancer cells in the image and likeness of the sent agent.
The potential of this technique is great, scientists admit, but the practical result has not been proven at all. There is a risk that the immune system will not accept a stranger, even if he came with good intentions. Or the cancer cells will start mutating in response in new, unpredictable ways. Finally, the cost of such treatment - each medicine is created in a single copy strictly for a specific patient, and this is a priori not cheap.
At the first stage, 90 people will become experimental, whose cancerous tumors have already been removed and there is no risk of complications. The results will be announced in 2018. Further experiments will be carried out on patients with active forms of cancer. It is expected that by 2030, 23.6 million new patients will appear annually, so that doctors will not have a shortage of volunteers or those who want to buy a miracle cure.