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Microbes & Cancer

 

The aim of all cancer therapies is to kill cancer cells while avoiding healthy cells. This selectivity for tumours is the key to success for curing cancer. We have identified a novel strategy to achieve this selectivity exploiting the natural property of some microbes (bacteria or viruses) to grow specifically within tumours.

For example, bacteria represent unique tumour-targeting agents as they can preferentially colonise and proliferate within tumours following systemic administration. Recently, we have identified naturally occurring bacteria of different types in patient tumours. While bacterial presence in certain tumours is associated with tumourigenesis, in many cases bacterial presence may reflect local infections of existing malignant tissue.

Our technology exploits this property of tumour-selective growth, and is based on our unique expertise on the use of non-disease causing ‘Good Bacteria’ (e.g. probiotics) to selectively produce therapeutic agents, or diagnostics, exclusively within tumours.