50-Year-Old Bacteria Could Be Alternative Treatment Option for Cancer
Robert Kazmierczak, a postdoctoral fellow in biological sciences at MU, recently published a paper showing that weekly injections of a particular Salmonella strain into genetically engineered mice with prostate cancer reduced the size of the tumors without serious side-effects. Photo credit: Alycia McGee
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Story posted: Oct. 26, 2016
By: Molly Peterson
COLUMBIA, Mo. – According to the Centers for Disease Control, 48 million Americans contract foodborne diseases annually, with Salmonella being the leading cause of illness. Salmonella has a unique characteristic that allows the bacteria to penetrate through cell barriers and replicate inside its host. Now, scientists at the Cancer Research Center and the University of Missouri have developed a non-toxic strain of Salmonella to penetrate and target cancer cells. Results from this study could lead to promising new treatments that actively target and control the spread of cancer.
“Salmonella strains have a natural preference for infiltrating and replicating within the cancer cells of a tumor, making the bacteria an ideal candidate for bacteriotherapy,” said Robert Kazmierczak, a senior investigator at the Cancer Research Center and a post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Biological Sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science. “Bacteriotherapy is the use of live bacteria as therapy to treat a medical condition, like cancer.”