Korean scientists modify food poisoning bacteria to fight cancer
Salmonella is known as a harmful bacteria that causes most cases of food poisoning.
Now, the bad could be turned into something good, as researchers from Korea have modified the bacteria to attack cancer cells.
Oh Jung-hee has the details.
Salmonella, known to cause food poisoning, enters the body easily and multiplies inside cells.
Taking advantage of such characteristics, scientists in Korea have modified the bacteria to target cancer cells.
A harmless version of salmonella was genetically engineered to secrete Flagellin B.
When injected, the modified bacteria still tried to infect the body,... triggering a powerful immune response against cancer cells.
"The bacteria breeds inside tumors and gets the immune system's attention. The Flagellin B protein makes the immune system more aggressive against cancer cells."
The scientists injected the modified bacteria into mice with human colon cancer, and found that 11 of the 20 mice had no signs of cancerous tissue at all after 120 days.
The control group of mice, which were infected with the bacteria that did not secrete Flagellin B, succumbed to their cancers throughout the experiment.
After additional animal testing, the team plans to run clinical trials with human subjects to see whether the method can be used as a safe, effective anticancer therapy.