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Salmonella Used to Fight Cancer

When someone mentions salmonella, most people do not think of a cancer treatment. However, that’s exactly what scientists have been experimenting with. Apparently, researchers are using the salmonella bacteria to create an immune response within the body which destroys cancer cells.

Italian and American researchers used a safe form of the bacteria to “flag” cancer cells so the immune system would be capable of locating and destroying these cells. After much promising research, these scientists are now awaiting authorization to begin human trials.

When injecting the salmonella into mice that had cancer, researchers witnessed very exciting results. The bacteria allowed the immune systems in the mice to destroy the tumor cells. What is even more incredible is that researchers reported that this type of treatment also prevented the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body, functioning as a preventative measure as well as a treatment.

Although the research team used melanoma cells for their study, they said that the technique used could be applied to other types of cancer. This research could possibly lead to a new drug development that could change the way we battle cancer. These immunotherapy drugs, which are medicines that activate and use the immune system to fight disease, could be the answer to a cure for cancer, or a more efficient and less harmful treatment.

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One Comment

  1. Carol
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Hope they do develop a new drug for cancer using salmonella as it would really be a big help to cancer patients around the world. I find it ironic though that a bacteria that can kill people is going to be used to save people. Amazing!

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