Salmonella as a new miracle weapon in the fight against cancer?

Increase in the number of cancers
According to the Center for Cancer Registry Data at the Robert Koch Institute( RKI), "around 14.1 million people worldwide suffer from cancer( excluding white skin cancer) and around 8.2 million people die from it",In Germany, too, there are more and more new cases of cancer. The number of new diagnoses has almost doubled in this country since 1970.Patients are usually treated by surgery, chemotherapy and / or radiation. South Korean scientists now report that salmonella can also help fight cancer.

researchers have found that salmonella can help fight cancer. The bacteria can kill tumor cells.(Image: vitanovski /

salmonella could be helpful in the fight against cancer
Salmonella are bacteria that can cause various diseases in humans - especially in the gastrointestinal tract. Eating foods that are contaminated with them can cause discomfort such as abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

But apparently the bacteria can also be good for your health. Researchers from South Korea report in the journal "Science Translational Medicine" that salmonella could be helpful in the fight against cancer.

More information:
  • Cancer Registry in the fight against cancer
  • Active movement can help in the fight against cancer
  • Diagnoses and therapies: New WHO guidelines in the fight against cancer

Insufficiently supplied with oxygen
As the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung"( FAZ)reported, salmonella thrive in low-oxygen environment and also get there with preference.

According to the information, such hypoxic regions are a hallmark of tumors whose blood vessel network is incomplete due to the precipitous growth and provides insufficient oxygen to its environment.

The research team led by Jin Hai Zheng from the Chonnam National University Medical School in Gwangju has now modified Salmonella typhimurium to be even more attracted to tumors.

According to FAZ they are forced by a genetic defect to get one of their genetic components from rapidly proliferating tumor cells, where it is produced in abundance.

tumors were completely regressed
Tumors from mice suffering from a form of colorectal cancer were reported to be able to detect blood-borne mutants tens of thousands of times higher than normal organs such as the liver or spleen.

In addition, it was found that in half of the diseased mice infected with the modified Salmonella, the tumors completely regressed. In animals given conventional Salmonella, only the survival time was doubled.

According to FAZ, the researchers attribute the deadly effect against the tumor cells not to the bacteria themselves, but to cells of the immune system that is activated by the bacteria.

European experts are impressed
The work of Korean scientists also impressed European experts. Kevin Harrington, a professor of cancer biology at the Institute for Cancer Research in London, said, according to a report in the Daily Mail: "It has been known for some time that certain types of bacteria, including Salmonella strains, can grow in tumors, but notin normal tissues. "

But" so far, attempts to use bacteria for anti-cancer therapies have had limited success, both in the laboratory and in the clinic. "He continues: "The current work of Zheng and colleagues represents a fascinating new approach to the use of bacteria." The British newspaper cites other professionals who pay great tribute to Korean researchers.

Even German scientists had reported years ago that salmonella can be effective against cancer cells. At the time, researchers at the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research( HZI) in Braunschweig had stated that this method could be more suitable as a supplement or replacement for chemotherapy. Surgical intervention could not be prevented.(ad)

Fighting Salmonella Cancer Cells
Every year, around 14 million people worldwide suffer from cancer and more than eight million people die from it. In the fight against the serious illness is mainly put on surgery, chemo and radiation. Researchers now report that Salmonella can also kill tumor cells.

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