Research ArticleCancer

CRISPR-enhanced engineering of therapy-sensitive cancer cells for self-targeting of primary and metastatic tumors

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Science Translational Medicine  11 Jul 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 449, eaao3240
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao3240

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Cellular double agents

Tumor cells exhibit a “self-homing” behavior, whereby cells released into the circulation can home back to the main tumor site. To take advantage of this behavior and use the cells as vehicles to deliver therapies to the main tumor site, Reinshagen et al. engineered self-targeting tumor cells. These cells were designed to secrete death receptor–targeting ligands to which they were resistant to kill the main tumor but not destroy themselves. Conversely, they could be eliminated on demand using a drug-triggered cellular suicide system to prevent them from repopulating the tumor site. The authors then tested the efficacy and safety of this method in mouse models of primary, recurrent, and metastatic tumors.