The discovery of a universal panacea for cancerDisease has always been a fundamental goal of 21st century doctors. According to a study conducted within the walls of the Francis Crick Institute, DNA particles from ancient viruses can help the immune system to successfully identify and even destroy neoplasms. In this case, in what way can another breakthrough in medicine occur?
Sleeping viruses can help fight cancer
Popular science magazine GenomeResearch claims that human DNA fragments contain traces of the so-called "endogenous retroviruses", which at one time brought a lot of trouble to our distant ancestors. For millions of years, our ancestors have been carriers of countless different viruses, which has led to the fact that the information about them in the DNA of modern man now far exceeds the amount of information even about the person himself. It is known that approximately 8 percent of the entire human genome consists only of viral DNA, while well-known human genes make up only 1-2 percent.
See also: Some viruses have good health effects.
Currently, viral DNA is in sleepcondition due to the fact that the human body throughout its existence has been constantly subjected to evolutionary changes, gradually increasing its resistance to various types of viruses. However, when a cell turns into a cancerous cell, some of its suppression mechanisms may fail by activating ancient viral DNA.
What are genes?
According to conventional wisdom, genes representDNA fragments that contain complete instructions for the production of proteins that perform most of the most important functions in the cell or the body as a whole. Similar instructions are translated into RNA molecules before receiving proteins. At the same time, DNA located outside the gene can influence the transcription process, which some endogenous retroviruses use.
In order to fully explore the waysthe interaction of endogenous retroviruses with transcription, a team of scientists studied samples of patients suffering from 31 different types of cancer, using a special technology called RNASeq, which can read even short, seemingly random, RNA fragments.
Focusing mainly on learningThe transcripts characteristic of melanoma, the researchers used an algorithm for decoding the material in order to make it visible to the human immune system. As a result of the experiment, the researchers were able to detect 14 transcripts of potential candidates located in 8 different areas of the human genome, capable of creating unique cancer antigens. Later, researchers were able to narrow their number, leaving only nine unique peptides that can easily be detected by the immune system.
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If so, then the study may form the basisfuture progressive cancer treatments that will include a kind of vaccination of the human immune system in order to recognize and successfully attack cancer cells.