In 1980, Life and Time magazines introduced America to a new miracle cure for cancer: interferon, a protein that was ripped from the body’s own immune system and showed exciting early results, before ultimately proving both too impotent and toxic to be useful. to be after a few malignancies. .
Researchers have spent decades looking for ways to bottle and replicate the early success of those initial studies for interferon and another drug. immune signaling molecule called interleukin-2, with flashes of progress and what very expensive failures.
Now a former University of California San-Francisco researcher, Nicole Paulk, proposes a new solution. Paulk wants to use docile viruses engineered to gently deliver healthy genes to patients with devastating genetic diseases and use them to shove interferons and other immune-stimulating molecules into unsuspecting cancer cells.