A bacterial strain that specifically targets tumours could soon be used as a vehicle to deliver drugs in frontline cancer therapy. The strain is expected to be tested in cancer patients in 2013 says a scientist at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn Conference at the University of York.
A fundamental requirement for any new cancer therapy is the ability to target cancer cells while excluding healthy cells. Professor Nigel Minton, who is leading the research, explains how this therapy naturally fulfils this need. "Clostridia are an ancient group of bacteria that evolved on the planet before it had an oxygen-rich atmosphere and so they thrive in low oxygen conditions. When Clostridia spores are injected into a cancer patient, they will only grow in oxygen-depleted environments, i.e. the centre of solid tumours. This is a totally natural phenomenon, which requires no fundamental alterations and is exquisitely specific. We can exploit this specificity to kill tumour cells but leave healthy tissue unscathed," he said.
"This therapy will kill all types of tumour cell. The treatment is superior to a surgical procedure, especially for patients at high risk or with difficult tumour locations," explained Professor Minton.
Originally posted by GogoVicMorrow
reply to post by Droogie
The bacteria doesn't kill cancer, it targets cancer.
They want to use the bacteria as a drug delivery system is how I am reading this. So yes the scientists in the lab with their synthetics are still very much in use in this treatment.