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Salmonella flags cancer to the immune system when injected into tumours, scienti

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Post time 18-2-2017 05:03 PM | Show all posts |Read mode
Salmonella flags cancer to the immune system when injected into tumours, scientists find

A scientist carries out a liquid biopsy, cutting-edge cancer researchBy Sarah Knapton, science editor in boston
18 FEBRUARY 2017 • 12:00AM
The food poisoning bug salmonella can be injected into tumours to flag cancer to the immune system so that it can be quickly cleared from the body, scientists have shown.

Cancer is extremely good at evading the body’s immune system, largely because a tumour is normal tissue which has gone awry, so the body does not see it as an invader.

Some cancers have also evolved to suppress or hide from the immune system.

The team discovered the possibility while working on unrelated research in which they noticed that the bacteria that attacked shellfish produced a protein called FlaB that caused a strong immune response.

That led them to genetically modify the common salmonella bacteria so that it, too, would produce the protein - and spur the immune system into action.

Professor Kevin Harrington, Professor of Biological Cancer Therapies at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: “It has been known for some time that certain types of bacteria, including strains of salmonella, are able to grow in tumours but not in normal tissues.

“However, until now, attempts to use bacteria as anti-cancer therapies have had limited success, both in the laboratory and in the clinic.

“The current work by Zheng and colleagues represents a fascinating new approach to using bacteria.

“Instead of asking the bacteria to kill cancer cells directly, the researchers have genetically engineered salmonella so that it triggers the immune system to mount an attack on the tumour.”

Professor Paul Dyson, of Swansea University, who is also studying the use of salmonella in fighting cancer: “We believe there is huge mileage in pursuing research into this type of treatment. Existing evidence indicates there would few or no side effects.”

The research was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine



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