Genetic Engineering And Immunotherapy Of Cancer

1394 WordsApr 3, 20176 Pages
Genetic Engineering and Immunotherapy of Cancer Genetic engineering is a highly controversial but incredibly powerful and significant branch of biotechnology that will heavily impact the future of human life, if we choose to utilize it. Humans have utilized the engineering of life for thousands of years through selective breeding, which has strengthened the traits in plants and animals that are helpful to humans. Even though we as a species have employed this for ages, it was not until recently that the specific mechanisms were discovered and studied. Once Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)* was discovered as the molecule that acts as the blueprint for all living organisms, researchers have been searching for ways to alter it. In the 1960s,…show more content…
Cells also contain a gene called Proto-Oncogenes*, which does the exact opposite as TSG when activated and turned into Oncogenes. How and when these genes are switched on and off determine the cell’s growth, and ultimately the development of cancer. If the TSG is switched off, this can cause problems. Furthermore if the Oncogenes are activated, the cells can become antisocial and ignore the tissue growth regulation mechanisms and begin to proliferate uncontrollably. When this happens, it usually forms a tumor*. This structure then continues to grow and mutate, since many regulatory genes and their promoters have been damaged or changed. The tumor is now even more vulnerable to mutation. This can then deactivate DNA repair genes, causing further problems and susceptibility. Cancerous cells that reach tumor status are able to because they are not recognized by T-Cells* of the immune system. T-Cells are critical for removing harmful or infected cells from the body. T-Cell protein receptors bind to foreign protein receptors expressed on harmful cells to identify the dangerous cells. After identification, the T-Cell destroys the harmful cell. However, since T-Cells can only identify “non-self” cells, they are often unable to target the cancerous cells that are “self”. This allows most cancers to escape detection by T-Cells and proliferate. However, if human T-Cells were made to be able to detect and

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