Tobacco Fighting Cancer

Now there's a concept!! I read an interesting article today about a customized vaccine therapy using tobacco plants.

The cancer being studied is follicular B-cell lymphoma. The treatment method involves using a virus that attacks only tobacco plants, and altering that virus so that it contains DNA from a patient's cancer. The researchers then infect the plant with this cancer carrying virus, to generate the production, in the infected plant, of the protein antibodies also seen in the patient's tumor. The antibodies are then extracted from the plant and purified, and injected back into the patient.

Apparently the advantage of the plant based approach is that it's very fast (it takes about a week), whereas using animals to make vaccines can take months.

Imagine that... a healthy use for tobacco plants ;-)

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