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Gene therapy: test-tube with tagged cancer cells

Gene therapy: test-tube with tagged cancer cells

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Credit

JAMES KING-HOLMES / ICRF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / ICRF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Gene therapy research. Two test tubes, one showing a blue colour change (at right) that indicates melanoma cancer cells which have been "switched on" to express a marker gene. Healthy cells (yellow) have been treated in the same way, but remain "switched off". This demonstrates that the melanin-producing cancer cells can be specifically targeted and activated. Two scientists from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, UK, Dr Ian Hart and Dr Richard Vile, now aim to use the genetic switch to express an anti-cancer gene which will help the body to destroy the melanoma cancer cells.

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