A group of scientists from Columbia University developed a new cancer treatment based on usage genetically modified bacteria. It should be noted that they are harmless bacteria for humans. That is, if they are injected into us, they will not cause any infection in us. Instead, they are ready to penetrate tumors and sound the alarm from there in order to the immune system fight them face to face.
In fact, it should come naturally. The immune system attacks not only external agents entering the body. It also goes against those own cells that begin to behave in an unusual way. How tumors, transparent. The problem is that cancer cells have the ability to evade the immune system in several ways. For this reason, many cancer treatments focus specifically on enhancing this lost response.
However, as described in a study in the journal Scientific achievementsare used genetically modified bacteria with two purposes. On the one hand, they turn specific to tumor cells not on other parts of the body. On the other hand, send signals to the immune system so that he becomes aware of the presence of the tumor despite his tricks to avoid it. So far, it has only been tested in mice, but the results have been promising enough to justify further research.
Bacterial cancer treatment
The bacteria genetically modified by these scientists can be administered in two different ways. Either directly in the tumor or in the bloodstream. In this case, they were able to target the tumor. without affecting other parts of the body.
This was one of the modifications that were made to them. The other consisted ofrelease of chemokineswhich are molecules that serve immune system alarm. In particular, two were used. The ones that attract “killer” T cells and those that attract dendritic cells.
The latter are also known as antigen-presenting cells, because its function is precisely in this. First, they attack the foreign agent, and then they take a fragment of it, known as an antigen, and expose it to other immune cells to detect and come to its aid. So what this cancer treatment does is cause the immune system to react. Bacteria enter the tumor, strike the first blow and leave it marked for attack, which will also be carried out by the “killer” part of the bacteria.
Next step: clinical trials
So far it has been shown to be a cancer treatment very promising in mice. However, the authors of the study plan to further optimize the process. Once they achieve this, the next step is to consider conducting clinical trials in humans. This is the only way to check if it is really effective. That it works in mice is a sign of optimism, but caution should be exercised until clinical trials are done. This is what we always say about any cancer treatment; but unfortunately it is. Gradually, with more and more progress.
Source: Hiper Textual