Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

GM Bacterium Helps Destroy Advanced Tumors in Mice

29.11.2001


Generally speaking, we go to great lengths to rid our bodies of foreign bacteria, whether it’s by brushing our teeth, washing our hands or taking antibiotics. But new research suggests that when it comes to treating tumors, we may one day invite the bugs in. According to a study published yesterday in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a bacterium that normally resides in soil, dust and dead flesh quickly destroys large tumors in mice when injected along with chemotherapy drugs.



Current cancer treatments are limited in part by their inability to destroy poorly vascularized areas of tumors: radiation requires oxygen to kill cells and chemotherapy drugs demand a blood system to reach their target. Anaerobic bacteria, on the other hand, actually prefer oxygen-free, or hypoxic, environments. Researchers have thus wondered for some time whether such bacteria might prove useful in combating tumors. Now Bert Vogelstein of Johns Hopkins University and his colleagues have shown that they can be. "The idea is to selectively attack these tumors from inside with the bacteria and from the outside with chemotherapy," Vogelstein explains. The team genetically engineered the bacterium Clostridium novyi, producing a toxin-free strain that, when administered with conventional drugs, eliminated nearly half of the advanced tumors in their lab mice within 24 hours. The healthy tissues surrounding the tumors, in contrast, remained intact.

The team’s so-called combination bacteriolytic therapy (COBALT) did have some negative outcomes, however. As many as 45 percent of the mice with the largest tumors died after treatment, presumably because of toxins released by the deteriorating tumor cells. "Any therapy which dramatically shrinks tumors may be subject to this side effect," the authors note. Yet although such tumor lysis is difficult to control in mice, it may be more easily controlled in humans. Still, whether or not COBALT will even work against human tumors at all remains to be seen. Says team member Kenneth Kinzler: "We hope that this research will add a new dimension to cancer treatment but realize that the way tumors respond to treatment in mice can be different than in humans."

Kate Wong | Scientific American
Further information:
http://www.sciam.com/news/112801/2.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>