Scientists Turn Salmonella Into ‘Cancer-Seeking Missile’ To Destroy Brain Tumours

Scientists Turn Salmonella Into ‘Cancer-Seeking Missile’ To Destroy Brain Tumours
January 22 11:23 2017 Print This Article

(HUFF POST) – Salmonella is one of the most common forms of food poisoning, leaving victims bedridden with some pretty nasty symptoms. By Oscar Williams

But what if, rather than attacking the human gut, the militant bacteria could be modified to tackle one of the most aggressive forms of cancer?

That’s the thinking behind an extraordinary new study in which scientists genetically engineered salmonella to fight brain tumours.

Researchers from Duke University used the novel treatment on rats with glioblastoma, and saw significant increases in lifespan.

Around 20 per cent of rodents survived 100 days longer than those without it.

That’s equivalent to 10 years in humans terms.

“Since glioblastoma is so aggressive and difficult to treat, any change in the median survival rate is a big deal,” said Johnathan Lyon, a PhD student and co-author of the study. “Since few survive a glioblastoma diagnosis indefinitely, a 20 percent effective cure rate is phenomenal and very encouraging.”

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