Spider Silk Helps Cancer Treatment

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Immune cells that have absorbed nanoparticles of spider silk (green), carrying peptides for potential cancer vaccines
Immune cells that have absorbed nanoparticles of spider silk (green), carrying peptides for potential cancer vaccines(Credit: Laboratoire Bourquin – UNIGE)

Strong and light, spider silk is one of the most impressive materials in the natural world. Both the real thing and synthetic versions have been used to improve everything from clothing to car seatscooling electronics to preserving produce, making sweet music or helping people hear it, and even patching up severed nerves. Now, scientists in Germany and Switzerland have found a new use for spider silk – wrapping up cancer drugs to protect them until they can reach their tumorous targets.

One of the most promising paths to combat cancer is immunotherapy, where drugs train the body’s immune system to hunt down and kill the cancer cells. To do so, certain peptides need to be delivered to the lymph nodes, where they can stimulate the T lymphocytes (or T-cells) into action. The problem is, these peptides are too fragile if injected alone, degrading long before they’ll reach the goal.

“To develop immunotherapeutic drugs effective against cancer, it is essential to generate a significant response of T lymphocytes,” says Carole Bourquin, director of the new study. “As the current vaccines have only limited action on T-cells, it is crucial to develop other vaccination procedures to overcome this issue.”

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

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