Immunotherapy is a treatment in which the body’s own immune system is stimulated to fight diseases such as cancer.
One treatment, called Bi-specific T Cell Engagers (BiTE), consists of two antibodies linked together. One antibody binds to a T cell, while the other binds to a cancer cell, helping T cells recognize and kill the tumor. Unfortunately, BiTEs have several limitations. In a previous project I used aptamers – short single strands of DNA or RNA – to create a disease diagnostic tool. I wondered whether aptamers could make BiTEs more effective and reduce their side-effects.
I designed three different ABiTES (Aptamer based BiTEs) and then tested them on two types of breast cancer cells as well as healthy cells. Results show that ABiTEs are safer, cheaper and more effective than BiTEs.