Antibody is a gamma globulin protein produced by B-Lymphocytes in response to an antigen. These antibodies fight and neutralize pathogens like bacteria and viruses. Human Antibodies produced in plant are known as plantibodies.
Scientists and researchers in Chicago were able to produce cancer vaccine in a tobacco plant. These cancer vaccines help in kick-starting the immune response against the cancer. These cancer vaccines are tailor made for patient specific tumor type.
But Scientists have not yet determined whether the immune response created by these vaccines were sufficient to kill cancer cells.
Method Used to produce cancer vaccine in plant:
1) Each cancer cell has got specific target (epitope) on the cell membrane but these targets are unique in each patient with same kind of cancer.
2) Patient specific target genes are identified and then cloned into viral genome using gene cloning techniques using some of the enzymes like endonuclease and ligase.
3) In this case viruses which naturally attack Tobacco plant are used for cloning the patient specific target genes.
4) Genetically modified viruses are then scratched against the tobacco leaves. Viruses transfer their genome into the leaves of the tobacco plant converting these tobacco plants into cancer vaccine producing unit.
5) A week later the cancer vaccine produced in the tobacco leaves are extracted and injected into specific patient.
6) Cancer vaccine produced in tobacco plant was successful in curing mice with cancer.
7) Team of scientists used this vaccine on some 16 patients with follicular B-cell lymphoma, a chronic, incurable disease. 70% of the patients showed improved immune response against follicular B-cell lymphoma and none of the patients experienced any major side effects.
1) Cancer can be treated without any side effects.
2) Transformed plant cells can be easily grown.
3) Producing vaccine in plants is more economical when compared to vaccine production using animal cells.
4) In a short duration patient specific vaccine can be produced.
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