Bacteria Eats Any Cancer

Without harming surrounding tissues

Bacteria eats cancer Healthy Living Magazine

Bacteria eats cancer Healthy Living Magazine

A mutated form of the Clostridium novyi bacteria will eat away at the cancerous cells of any soft tissue tumors it is introduced to without harming surrounding tissue. The treatment was tested on 16 dogs being treated for tumors and showed a successful response within 3 weeks, according to the report.

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Published August 13 in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the study reports that 3 of the dogs had their tumors completely eradicated by the treatment, while the others showed an average tumor shrinkage of around 30 percent. Other trials injected the bacteria into rats with brain tumors and showed a similar rate of success there. "When we treated those tumors, we found that C. novyi was able to germinate inside the tumor while sparing the normal brain tissue," says co-author Dr Verena Staedtke.

The bacteria injection was able to destroy tumor cells selectively even when healthy cells were only a few micrometers away. In the rodent trials, it also prolonged their survival significantly with rodents who recieved the injection lasting an average of 33 days after the tumor was implanted, compared to 18 days average life expectancy for rats who did not recieve the bacteria.

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"Dog tumors resemble human tumors in many ways," says lead author Nicholas Roberts. "They're treated with many of the same drugs as humans and they experience the same toxicities. That was the rationale for treating pet dogs in this study." Based on this similarity, researchers have now begun phase 1 human trials at multiple sites across the United States. In one of the earliest human trials, a patient at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston received the injection into an advanced-stage tumor in her shoulder. The researchers reported that the tumor shrank rapidly in and around the bone and declared the trial a success.

Verena Staedtke, M.D., Ph.D., fellow, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Balitmore, Md.; Nicholas Roberts, Vet.M.B., Ph.D., fellow, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center; Shibin Zhou, M.D., Ph.D., director, experimental therapeutics, Kimmel Cancer Center's Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics; Greg Adams, Ph.D., director, Biological Research and Therapeutics, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pa.; Aug. 13, 2014, Science Translational Medicine
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