Find a Better Way

Using bioengineering to advance treatments for cancer

When it comes to treating some cancers, nothing is more groundbreaking or effective than teaching the body’s immune system to fight tumors.

This type of immunotherapy works by removing T cells from the body, which are the immune system’s advance guard, and then genetically modifying them to destroy tumor cells they normally wouldn’t detect. The downside? “It also costs a half-million dollars,” says Daniel Levy M.S. ’18.

Levy and Mai Anh Do M.S. ’18 want to make the treatment more accessible—and less expensive.

They worked in the Department of Bioengineering’s lab under Assistant Professor Bill Lu. And they have sought to program exosomes (cell-derived sacs that move between cells, transferring DNA along the way) to deliver the DNA to the T cell. Levy and Do didn’t invent the exosome delivery approach, but their research could help make it a reality.

READ MORE: Matt Morgan’s feature story

post-image Human RNA Exosome Complex at the molecular level. / Photo courtesy Science Stock.
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