#MiceStudyWarning #ProofOfConcept #NatureNanoscience
//A strain called MC-1(T), originally found in a low-oxygen region of water in the Pettaquamscutt Estuary in Rhode Island, also naturally navigates toward areas of low oxygen. That's handy because the fastest-growing part of a tumour — the area that should be targeted by chemotherapy drugs — also tends to be low in oxygen, as the growing cells consume oxygen so quickly.
That means when MC-1 bacteria are near a tumour, they'll naturally navigate toward the fastest-growing cancer cells — exactly where you might want it to deliver a load of drugs.
"You target not just the tumour, but the strategic location in the tumour where you expect to have the maximum therapeutic effect," Martel said. "Their instinct is to want to go to this thing. We just help them … we give them enough freedom so they can swim around obstacles."[...]
They found that on average, about 55 per cent of the 100 million bacteria they injected into each mouse made it to the low-oxygen areas of the tumour, they reported in the journal Nature Nanoscience this week.
While the study suggests this strategy could work, many further tests need to be done before the technology could be tested on human cancer patients.
Because it was a proof-of-concept study, the researchers haven't yet analyzed the effect of the delivered drugs on the tumour.
Nor do they know how the immune system of monkeys or humans would react to the bacterial injection.//http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/bacteria-drug-delivery-tumour-martel-1.3723594
: Journal reference Nature Nanoscience (free readable copy, can't print/download): http://nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/Nnano.2016.137
: Computer engineering is cool! "The study was led by Sylvain Martel, a professor of computer engineering at Polytechnique Montreal, who has been trying for 15 years to develop a way to direct chemotherapy drugs to a tumour."