Why viral delivery?
Thus, researchers have turned to viral delivery of cancer medications. Viruses enter and spread through the body just as they do when they’re making someone sick, but rather than cause symptoms of an illness, the virus can carry small molecules containing medications to the cancerous cells. The plant based virus Dr. Steinmetz and her team studied is an elongated shape which is superior to the spherical shape for targeted drug delivery. The exact vector used in the study was a tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) bonded with valine-citrulline monomethyl auristatin E (vcMMAE), a drug commonly used to treat NHL. The TMVvcMMAE product enters the body and specifically kills NHL cancer cells rather than simply sending a drug to the body to kill all cells.