Using p53 to Fight Cancer
This animation shows how a genetically modified virus can be used to destroy cancer cells.
Many cancer treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy, harm both cancer cells and normal, healthy cells. The animation presents an alternative treatment that uses a genetically modified virus to specifically target cancer cells. When this virus tries to replicate after infecting a normal cell, it is suppressed by the cell’s functioning p53 proteins. Because many cancer cells have mutated and inactive p53 proteins, they cannot suppress the virus and are ultimately killed by it.
This animation is a clip from a 2003 Holiday Lecture Series, Learning From Patients: The Science of Medicine. Depending on students’ background, it may be helpful to pause the animation at various points to discuss different steps in the treatment.