Everyone is trying to be high tech, especially in cancer research. “Nomics” fever is spreading like wildfire. Genomics: the analysis of DNA, genes and mutations. Transcriptomics: the analysis of which genes are turned on or off. Proteomics: the analysis of proteins which are the result of genes turned on. The amount of data is overwhelming, making supercomputers indispensable.
While many cancer immunology labs are using high tech ways to rev up the immune system against cancer cells, such as expensive monoclonal antibodies, computer-designed synthetic molecules, and genetically modified immune cells, we at Daniel 2:28, take a more traditional and low tech approach.
The past is full of hidden treasures and unlearned lessons. One such chest is the field of transplant surgery. The greatest challenge in organ transplantation is the darn immune system (can’t live without it, and in some cases, can’t live with it). The immune system is only doing its job when it identifies the transplanted organ as being foreign or non-self, and it naturally attacks the organ (hence all the medications needed to suppress the immune system). An unavoidable situation is the obvious lack of blood flow or circulation through the organ while it is being transported from the donor to the recipient. This lack of oxygen increases the “foreign-ness” of the organ, making it even more obvious to the recipient’s immune system that the organ is foreign. In our project, “Creating immunologic memory against cancer,” we are transforming this challenge (in transplant surgery) to a cure (for cancer). This drug- and technology-free treatment has resulted in several mice being immune to cancer.