Strep Throat Bacteria May Be Used to Fight Colon Cancer, Study Finds

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Findings from new study suggest the bacteria known primarily for causing strep throat might also be able to fight colon cancer.

Researchers at Western University in London, Canada engineered a streptococcal bacterial toxin that attaches itself to tumor cells, prompting the immune system to recognize and attack these cancer cells.

This study showed the bacterial toxin's ability to significantly reduce the size of human colon cancer tumors in mice, causing a drastic reduction in the cancer's ability to spread to other organs.

The study was directed by John McCormick, PhD, an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Scientist at the Lawson Health Research Institute.

After studying the streptococcal bacteria, lead researchers believe they can harness the power of these toxins and use it to redirect the immune system to combat cancer cells.

This research has the potential to provide a revolutionary class of colon cancer treatment. McCormick and his colleagues received a new grant from the Cancer Research Society to further their investigation.

Other Colon Cancer News From Around the Web

  • Two weeks after his colon cancer surgery, The Weather Channel meteorologist Greg Forbes is set to return to work.
  • U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown announced new legislation to ensure seniors who need colon cancer screening are not burdened with unfair costs.
  • Fluorescence lifetime imaging shows how colon cancer cells proliferate and suggests a new way to inhibit tumor growth.
  • Amgen Inc. received expanded approval from the FDA to treat patients with a genetic variation of advanced colon cancer using their cancer drug Vectibix.

Study link: Control of Established Colon Cancer Xenografts Using a Novel Humanized Single Chain Antibody-Streptococcal Superantigen Fusion Protein Targeting the 5T4 Oncofetal Antigen via NCBI

Find the official news release here.

Image Source: NIAD via Flickr.com

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Topics: Colon Cancer News