Navigation Links
Germ - Chemo Combo Fights Cancer

Bacteria that can cause deadly infections in humans and animals have shown promise in treating cancer by “eating” tumors from the inside out. Now, two new studies at the// Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have demonstrated that, combined with specially-packaged anti-cancer drugs, the bacterial therapy’s prospects for cancer eradication have dramatically improved.

In mouse experiments reported in the November 24 issue of Science, the Hopkins researchers demonstrated that genetically-modified bacteria called Clostridium novyi-NT (C.novy-NT) have a special taste for oxygen-starved environments much like those found in the core of cancer cell clusters. The modified bacteria themselves are relatively harmless, but their unmodified counterparts produce poisons that have killed some humans and cattle when introduced into the bloodstream.

“It is not difficult to kill cancer cells. The challenge is killing them while sparing normal cells,” says Bert Vogelstein, M.D., professor and co-director of the Ludwig Center and Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

The bacteria’s cancer-killing effects were first discovered five years ago by the Hopkins team who noticed the germ’s ability to grow and spread in the oxygen-poor core of mouse tumors and the blackened scars signaling that most of the cancer cells had been destroyed. Normal surrounding cells were largely unaffected. But the bacteria failed to kill cancer cells at the still oxygen-rich edge of the tumors.

In response, the Hopkins team added specially-packaged chemotherapy to the bacterial attack speculating that certain properties of the bacteria would improve the drug’s effectiveness, according to Shibin Zhou, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

The combo approach temporarily wiped out both large and small tumors in almost 100 mice and permanently cured more than two-thirds of them.

The likely explanation for the greater cancer cell kill by the combination treatment is that the bacteria expose the tumors to six times the amount of chemotherapy than is usually the case by improving the breakdown and dispersal of the chemotherapy’s fatty package at the tumor site.

The investigators repeated experiments using two packaged chemotherapy drugs -- doxorubicin and irinotecan -- and observed similar tumor-killing effects of both when used in combination with the bacteria.

“Packaged” cancer drugs currently are available in microscopic fatty capsules called liposomes which gravitate to tumors because they are too large to fit through the skins of tightly-woven blood vessels surrounding normal tissue and small enough to get through tumor vasculature.

Combining C.novyi-NT and liposomes filled with chemotherapy seems to have its synergistic effect on tumors owing to the presence of an enzyme found lurking in C. novyi-NT cultures, which Ian Cheong, Ph.D., in the Vogelstein lab dubbed liposomase. It destroys fatty membranes and may disrupt the outer layer of liposomes releasing their drug contents.

“Drugs contained in these ‘Trojan horse’ compartments are specifically released at the tumor site by the C-novyi-NT bacteria which may improve the effectiveness and safety of the therapy,” says Cheong who is the lead author of the study.

The scientists note that liposomase could be used in a variety of other targeted therapies besides the bacteria combination. Such approaches could include attaching liposomase to antibodies that have an affinity for specific tumors or adding its DNA code to gene therapy. As many drugs can be packaged within liposomes, the investigators say the approach could have general utility.

In a companion study published in the November 19 online issue of Nature Biotechnology, the Hopkins team decoded the entire C.novyi-NT genome which Zhou says “w as instrumental in identifying liposomase and will help improve our bacterial-based therapies.”



Related medicine news :

1. Acupuncture May Help Chemotherapy Side Effects
2. Chemotherapy Pill Has Fewer Side Effects Than IV
3. Survival rates in breast cancer patients improved with "Dose Dense Chemotherapy"
4. Therapy Boosts Chemotherapy Effects
5. Chemotherapy Effective for Bladder Cancer
6. Hope for Chemo-Resistant Leukemia Patients
7. New Method Of Delivering Chemotherapy
8. Drug That Is Found To Reduce Heart Damage from Chemo
9. The Benefits Of Chemotherapy For Women With Ovarian Cancer
10. New Compound Could Strengthen The Effect Of Chemotherapy
11. Older Breast Cancer Patients Can Be Effectively Treated With Chemotherapy
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The hospitals and health ... aspects of orthopedic care. They have received recognition for excellence from various reputable ... , Becker's Hospital Review selected hospitals for inclusion based on national rankings ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In response to recent news highlighting ... from prescription opioids in the United States grew 400 percent between 1999 and 2010, ... were involved in 37 percent of all fatal drug overdoses. (1) , While oxycodone ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Serenity Point ... a series of recent video interviews with some of the staff members at their ... the residential treatment facility, as well as some of the things that make their ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Chiropractic student Katie Benson ... (CU-KC), in Overland Park, Kansas. Benson, a fifth-trimester student in the university’s College ... III on October 16. , “Katie is very excited and greatly appreciative to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Autism Speaks, the world’s leading ... driven by social media and the generosity of people around the world. On December ... media networks to give – and share the personal stories behind those gifts. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... COMMACK , Nueva York ... Avery Biomedical Devices (ABD), fabricante del Avery Breathing ... Anders Jonzon , MD; Ph.D. como consultor ...   --> Foto - ... --> El doctor Jonzon es un ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 Avery Biomedical Devices (ABD), manufacturer ... announce the appointment of Anders Jonzon , MD; ... Dr. Jonzon is a Physiologist ... Hospital, Uppsala University, Uppsala and Children,s Hospital, Karolinska, ... a fellow at the Cardiovascular Institute (UCSF). His research ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... F1000Workspace - a research collaboration, reference management ... just six months ago. --> F1000Workspace - ... - since it was launched just six months ago. ... F1000Workspace - a research collaboration, reference management and ... six months ago. --> --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: