Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Taming Tumor Cells

PostedFebruary 15, 2013

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Anchor Lede: Future chemotherapy treatments might have fewer side effects by taming cancer cells instead of killing them.

Randy Atkins: Cancer cells thrive, and rapidly multiply, in their microenvironment – the biochemical mix in which tumors bathe. But Jennifer West, a Duke bioengineer, says in lab experiments…

Jennifer West: …if we provided them with materials that would mimic a normal microenvironment we saw that the cells really behaved like normal cells. This gives us some new targets for potential therapeutics.

Randy Atkins: West says instead of a chemotherapy that kills cancer but other cells too, causing many side effects, it might tame a tumor cell to become…

Jennifer West: …if not a completely normal cell, at least a very much less aggressive cell.

Randy Atkins: …and prolong patients’ lives. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.

Anchor Tag: Though promising, this research is in very early stages of development and years away from clinical use.