Interesting ideas, I'll give you that,
Well thank you very much for that.
but I'm concerned in a few ways with Phase One (more my area of knowledge, as you can probably guess from my username):
I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge here. Let me see if I can address your concerns.
Firstly, I'd recommend this link as a starting point for more knowledge about bacterial treatments in cancer.
Clostridium novyi-NT - Potential
Therapeutic Uses in Cancers
1. Purposefully injecting someone with a bacteria that is capable of causing significant cell death is generally not a good idea.
Yet allowing cancer cells a refuge inside hypoxic tumour cores, where they are quiescent and relatively resilient to traditional chemotherapy, though
generally done, is a much worse idea because it allows the cancer to re-emerge.
Yes there are risks of injecting someone with bacteria but if the goal of a permanent cure can be had by taking the risks then it's worth it if those
risks are manageable.
Even many anaerobic bacteria are capable of growing in various parts of the body
Most famously in the gut but they can lurk in other places in the healthy body too.
and limiting the cell-killing effects to just the tumors is likely to be problematic.
Yet limiting the cell-killing effects only to cells likewise in a state of hypoxia should be no problem.
2. Establishing infection via induced bacteremia or systemic infection within the tumors may be difficult, especially if there is limited blood supply
(which may be the case in the hypoxic regions of the tumor).
OK well it ought to be possible to get the infection started by injecting directly into the biggest convenient tumours.
Once there are a number of viable bio-agent colonies thriving my expectation would be that they'd be a source of spores into the lymph-drainage /
blood in the same way that those tumours are a source of metastatic cancer cells.
Failing that one could simply keep dripping spores into an intravenous line into the blood supply and sooner or later I would expect those spores are
going to get lodged into the growing tumours. Once enveloped by the growing tumour and a hypoxic environment experienced I'd expect spores to
germinate and establish a new colony.
How long would that take? Maybe quite a long time. It depends on how fast the tumours are growing as to what the rate of them enveloping a spore might
be. Yes it might take quite a long time to get all the tumours you need infected so infected.
It should be noted here that cancer patients sometimes acquire Clostridium infections of their tumours and have been known to die from such infections
before they are diagnosed and treated.
The mechanism of spread of obligate anaerobes from tumour to tumour within the body might be easier to achieve than you might think. It may be that
the rate of spread and growth of the anaerobe may have to be moderated with anti-bio-agent drugs (antibiotics) rather than encouraged by intravenous
drip of bio-agent.
It's difficult to predict at what point the infection would need to be encouraged and at what point the infection would need to be moderated.
All I can do is suggest the methods for encouraging and moderating.
It is like a car designer cannot say in advance at what point the driver will have to use the brake and at what point the driver must use the
The car designer simply provides the driver with both brake and accelerator and trusts to the driver's good judgement as to when each should be
3. Even if the process were successful in infecting the tumors (and only the tumors) with a sufficiently virile bacteria to cause cell death in
hypoxic environments, the end result would essentially be creating pockets of necrotic tissue in the centers of tumors. Pockets of necrotic tissue are
going to cause issues unless removed or debrided, at which point surgical removal of the tumors would probably make more sense.
Well that's a valid point - necrotic tissue, although an acceptable swap for a cancer cell haven within a tumour, is not an ideal end point.
I have read reports of experiments where the tumour so infected by bacteria essentially disappeared and presumably the immune system cells had eaten
the bacteria after the bacteria had eaten the tumour?
Whether tumours disappearing typically happens or whether bio-agent colonies would typically maintain some kind of stand off with the immune system I
don't know for sure but I'd bet on the immune system cleaning up if it possibly can.
Tumours disappearing altogether in phase 1 is not required in my approach. The oxygenated peripheries or rims of tumours are expected often to survive
phase 1 treatment and then be killed in phase 2.
I certainly see a role for surgery but that would typically be to remove the biggest tumours first and that may be done anyway to see if the cancer
can be caught before it has metastasized.
Nothing in this approach in any way diminishes surgery as the first best hope of curing cancer. This approach is designed as a systemic treatment for
metastatic cancer, the most intractable of cancers to treat and therefore the most interesting challenge for medical science to accept.
4. I would imagine there is some possibility of viable bacteria remaining in the tumor cores even once systemic infection has been
Hence why I have suggested the possibility of an intermission between phases 1 and 2, to assess that the goals of phase 1 have been completed and to
be as sure as one can be that no viable bacteria remain in the former tumour cores. So I am thinking it can't be impossible to so saturate the body
with anti-bio-agent drug (antibiotic) that it saturates the former tumour cores too?
Phase Two would likely cause rupture of these tumors to some degree, potentially releasing extremely large quantities of bacteria into the blood while
the immune system is severely weakened from the Phase Two drugs.
The phase 2 treatment should include antibiotics to kill off all gut flora and so the bio-agent would be killed off by the circulating antibiotics
without requiring the help of the immune system.
Having reviewed the risks and difficulties with using a live bio-agent it is worth mentioning research work which is being done to create new drugs,
called Hypoxia-activated prodrugs (HAPs)
to target these hypoxic tumour cores.
I would hope that eventually HAPs could prove their potency against hypoxic tumour cores but meanwhile obligate anaerobes have billions of years of a
proven record of potency in killing cells in hypoxic environments.
Once HAPs have proved useful they should be much easier and more predictable and need less continuous monitoring than a bio-agent does.
Phase 2 concerns coming up next post ...
edit on 23-10-2013 by Mr Peter Dow because: (no reason given)