This Genetically-Modified Bacterium may be the Subsequent Step Forward in most Cancers Remedy

This Genetically-Modified Bacterium may be the Subsequent Step Forward in most Cancers Remedy

Cancer has been a mortal enemy of mankind since the dawn of modern medicine. Although many advances have been made in the field of cancer treatment, the disease is still poorly understood, making both treatment and prevention extremely difficult, costly, and physically painful for patients. I am giving Over the decades, many potential treatment options have emerged. Some try to harness the body’s internal processes, others use unsafe drugs, but none have produced consistent results.

But a more recent area of ​​research could be a potential weapon against cancer. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the human microbiome, the ecosystem of friendly microbial flora and fauna that inhabits and lives within us. But a recent study from Stanford University shows that these tiny creatures are more than just minute hitchhikers, they may actually be one of the most dangerous weapons against all sorts of diseases, including cancer. I was.

Microbes versus tumors

Recent medical research has found that the inhabitants of the microbiome may directly influence the induction of immune responses. After all, our bodies are their homes, so it makes sense that when a threat such as an infection or tumor is detected, our immune system is stimulated to fight back.

To measure the precise effects of this immune boost, a team of Stanford University scientists led by Michael Fischbach obtained samples of Staphylococcus epidermidis, a microbe commonly found on the surface of human skin. bottom. By inserting a new genetic code into a sample of cancer cell proteins, the microbes were tricked into recognizing the presence of a cancer symptom – a tumor.

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For the experiment, scientists injected mice with skin cancer cells and swabbed the injection site with a microbial sample. One group of mice received the modified organism and another group received the unmodified organism as a control. After several weeks, control mice revealed cancerous tumors. However, the microbially modified mice were virtually tumor-free. As an added bonus, when the scientists swabbed control mice with the modified microbe, the tumors began to shrink.

Will it work on humans?

These findings are very promising, but there is still a long way to go before scientists can conduct experiments on humans. First, S. epidermidis may not elicit as strong an immune response in humans as it does in mice, so a suitable test organism must be found. Second, there is a need to find universal oncoproteins that can be used to stimulate microbes, a problem proving to be problematic for other potential cancer treatments due to disease diversity. .

But if the necessary ingredients are available, scientists could start testing so-called “designer microbes” on humans within a few years. Not only could this be the magic bullet we’ve been looking for, but it could also be the first step in a new wave of more potent and less invasive medical treatments. For more information on the findings of Fischbach and his team, read the full report published in Science.

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