Note in Science page
Created Sep 05 11, Updated Sep 05 11 22:51
Soil bacteria could destroy solid tumours go to comments

Researchers at the University of Nottingham and the University of Maastricht have improved the use of genetically engineered bacteria to destroy cancer cells.
Spores of the Clostridium sporogenes anaerobic bacteria injected into patients will only grow in solid tumours (where there is no/low oxygen). Later, an anti-cancer drug is then injected as an inactive “pro-drug” form. When the pro-drug reaches the site of the tumour, a bacterial genetically engineered enzyme activates the drug, killing nearby tumor cells. As the bacteria grew only in tumor tissues, the enzyme is only present there, therefore the pro-drug will only become active in tumors.

When Clostridia spores are injected into a cancer patient, they will only grow in oxygen-depleted environments, ie 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.

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

We anticipate that the strain we have developed will be used in a clinical trial in 2013 led by Jan Theys and Philippe Lambin at the University of Maastricht in The Netherlands.

The work was presented to the Society of Microbiology’s autumn conference at the University of York. (= unpublished results so far!... what is the used pro-drug/enzyme “combo”?... + looks that it was only tested on animals…)

physorg article
sciencedaily artcile
BBC news article

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