Team:Arizona State/food


Anticancer Yogurt? Moving Towards Translational Research

When moving a healthcare biotechnology product from the bench to the bedside, it's important to understand the difficulties of translational research and evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment on the holistic level of the patient rather than just the disease itself.

Evaluating Side Effects

Vaccine Side Effects

We would need to evaluate the risk of side effects the vaccine has on the patient as a whole, not at just the single cell level, including measures to prevent autoimmunity and sepsis. We would also have to evaluate cross-reactivity with other drugs and radiation treatments. If the methods we develop become widely available, more drugs could be produced that target specific immune cells and stimulate stronger immune responses. These new methods need to be carefully fine-tuned in order to prevent overstimulation or unintended side effects.

Vaccine Development Side Effects

Researchers, because the system is modular, could potentially try using other antigens similar to MelanA or Flu M1, but if they don’t think about their antigens carefully, they may pick a non-cancerous antigen found naturally in the body, like Her2, which could induce immunity to self-antigens. However, the human immune system's central tolerance may minimize the capability for vaccine-induced autoimmunity.

Real-world use

Because this system is meant to be a vaccine, it would not be available to patients directly; it would be administered by a physician. They would need to consider the correct dosage amount depending on the stage of the disease in the patient. Because we are hoping to port the system into a probiotic bacterial strain, overuse could disrupt the human microbiome, so a precise dosage is important in administering the vaccine. We are also exploring its use as a prophylactic regular-dose probiotic vaccine system in foods that naturally contain probiotic organisms, such as cheese and yogurt.

Public Perception

To better understand the public perception and understanding of synthetic biology in medicine and cancer vaccination, we conducted a digital survey and utilized feedback we gained from responses to improve our project design and goals. We began with an original design and then modified the design and suggested future research directions based on provided recommendations from the public.