Paving the way for new gene therapy

Full project name: Novel treatments for Cancer: Gene-Directed Enzyme Prodrug Therapy (GDEPT)

Tag: New treatment | Past Project

<strong>Tag:</strong> New treatment

The project utilises a new therapeutic technique known as Gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy, or GDEPT.

In GDEPT, a gene is delivered to a target cancer cell by a virus. This gene then stimulates the production of a specific enzyme (Carboxypeptidase G2 CPG2) which has been shown to convert a non-toxic version of a drug- a ‘prodrug’- into a toxic cancer-killing drug at the site of the tumour.

Because the enzyme is selectively produced in the tumour cells, the effect of the toxic drug is only felt by the surrounding head and neck cancer cells, avoiding damage to healthy cells.

Work was done to optimize both the enzyme and the pro-drug and whilst Joshua helped engineer a virus to act as the deliverer of gene to cancer cells, known as a viral vector to, be used in GDEPT.


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