Kill Switch

Facts for Prelims

Kill Switch

News: Recently, scientists from UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, California discovered a ‘kill switch’ that triggers the death of cancer cells.

What is Kill Switch?
• Scientists have identified Kill Switch, as a protein on a receptor that can be designed to kill cancer cells. The protein known as CD95 receptors or Fas, which can be designed to induce self-destruction in cancer cells when activated.

• The discovery is part of CAR T-cell therapy, involving the collection of T cells from the patient’s blood, genetic modification in a lab to produce chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), and then injecting the modified cells back into the patient’s body.
• The therapy has shown promising efficacy against liquid cancers like leukaemia but has demonstrated limited success against solid tumours such as breast, lung, and bowel cancer.
• The research team is hopeful that the therapy can evolve to target solid cancers in the future. The identified epitope on CD95 receptors offers a potential therapeutic path to target ‘Fas’ in tumours. 

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