Cancer is the leading cause of death in the world. It occurs when mutations in our cells lead to unchecked growth. But what if we could engineer biological cells to fight back?
Cancer is, without a doubt, one of the most dreaded diagnoses a person can receive in their lifetime. While there are many forms of cancer and their respective prognosis depend on a multitude of factors — such as the patient, the cancer’s stage, and available treatments — for the millions of people who will be diagnosed this year, the word “cancer” is still a frightening one to hear.
We’ve known since the turn of the 20th century that some infectious diseases are a major risk for developing specific cancers. More worryingly, about one-sixth of cancers worldwide are attributable to infectious agents. Globally, more than 2m cancer cases are linked to certain carcinogenic viral, bacterial or parasitic agents. Two-thirds of these occur in developing countries.