Cancer affects all of us -- especially the ones that come back over and over again,
the highly invasive and drug-resistant ones, the ones that defy medical treatment,
even when we throw our best drugs at them.
Engineering at the molecular level, working at the smallest of scales,
can provide exciting new ways to fight the most aggressive forms of cancer.
Cancer is a very clever disease. There are some forms of cancer, which, fortunately,
we've learned how to address relatively well with known and established drugs and surgery.
But there are some forms of cancer that don't respond to these approaches,
and the tumor survives or comes back, even after an onslaught of drugs.
We can think of these very aggressive forms of cancer as kind of supervillains in a comic book.
They're clever, they're adaptable, and they're very good at staying alive.
And, like most supervillains these days, their superpowers come from a genetic mutation.
The genes that are modified inside these tumor cells can enable and encode for new and unimagined modes of survival,
allowing the cancer cell to live through even our best chemotherapy treatments.