Salmonella shows promise as cancer therapy

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

Salmonella may be useful as a bacterial delivery vector for cancer therapy, according to research published October 21 in Nature Communications.

Scientists at Ernest Pharmaceuticals and the Forbes Lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst developed a Salmonella-based cancer therapy that they say selectively invades cancer cells, then produces and delivers a cancer drug to kill the tumor.

The Forbes team engineered a Salmonella strain that has specific genetic controls that can produce the drug. The bacteria can invade cancer cells and once it is inside cells, it releases the therapeutic. It was successfully tested in animal models of breast cancer.

The research was supported by grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Institute for Applied Life Sciences/Manning Foundation.


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