Enter the Dragon: A Fiery, Immunogenic Death for Cancer

Enter the Dragon: A Fiery, Immunogenic Death for Cancer

Collections: Now On Display, Image Award Winners

2024 Award Winner

Padmini S. Pillai, Ege G. Onal, Jamie O. Webster, Robert S. Langer

Koch Institute at MIT, Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine

Hard-to-treat cancers often suppress antitumor immune responses and cell death mechanisms to evade demise. To overcome these obstacles, the Langer Lab has developed an mRNA nanotherapy that forces tumor cells to self-destruct, and to do so in a “fiery” fashion that leads to the recruitment and reprogramming of immune cells to kill the cancer.

Here, a human glioblastoma cell undergoes immunogenic death after this treatment. Pictured are the cell death proteins (red), cytoskeleton (yellow), and DNA (blue). 

A golden cell shaped like a dragon's head on a black background. The cyan nucleus looks like an eye. Tendrils trail off the back of the so-called head.

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