Stomping on Cancer With Bacteria

The rapidly accelerating capabilities of modern biotechnology have enabled a wealth of potential tools for attacking cancer. Some of those tools are living systems themselves, such as viruses. Here, Medical News Today reports on a cancer therapy that uses tailored bacteria: "genetically-modified bacteria called Clostridium novyi-NT (C.novy-NT) have a special taste for oxygen-starved environments much like those found in the core of cancer cell clusters. ... [researchers] noticed the germ's ability to grow and spread in the oxygen-poor core of mouse tumors and the blackened scars signaling that most of the cancer cells had been destroyed. Normal surrounding cells were largely unaffected. But the bacteria failed to kill cancer cells at the still oxygen-rich edge of the tumors. In response, the Hopkins team added specially-packaged chemotherapy to the bacterial attack ... The combo approach temporarily wiped out both large and small tumors in almost 100 mice and permanently cured more than two-thirds of them."

Link: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=57475

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