Genetic Chemotherapy: Inducing Leukemia and Lymphoma Cell Self Destruction
Current standard of care in leukemia and lymphoma treatment often involves intensive, sometimes long-term chemotherapy. Such treatments can be difficult and physically taxing for the patient, and can sometimes last for months or years. One major problem with current cancer treatments is the damage done to otherwise healthy tissues. This can lead to long-term consequences for cancer survivors, including immune system defects, cognitive problems, and new treatment-induced cancers. Most of these devastating side-effects could be potentially mitigated by selectively treating the cancer cells, without affecting surrounding normal cells. This project aims to develop an alternative to standard chemotherapy that we term “genetic chemotherapy” -- in which cancer-specific genetic features could be exploited for cancer cell self-destruction, thus minimizing side effects in non-cancer tissues. If successfully implemented, genetic chemotherapy could improve treatment and survivorship for some leukemia/lymphoma patients by better destroying the cancer cells while simultaneously preserving normal healthy tissues.