Genetically Modified Bacteria Can Now Fight with Cancer: Ongoing Tests on Mice
Among all chronic diseases, Cancer stands out of the show because of its long-life impacts and ultimately dragging towards death if not diagnosed in the first stage.
However, thanks to medical technology, there could be new treatments or vacancies to fight Cancer within the next few years.
A promising finding was uncovered by Stanford Medicine researchers experimenting with modifying the genomes of skin-based bacteria and microorganisms to combat skin cancer. When these genetically modified bacteria were swabbed into cancer-stricken mice, tumours unexpectedly disappeared.
Staphylococcus epidermidis was isolated from mice’s fur and altered to produce a protein that activates the immune system against particular cancers.
A professor of Bioengineering, Michael Fischbach, explained that they treat mice with gentle treatment by rubbing a swab of genetically altered bacteria on the fur of mice heads which killed aggressive forms of metastatic skin cancer, making it a completely successful experiment with smooth outcomes.
In this case, the Staphylococcus epidermidis cells start the development of immune cells known as CD8 T cells that are specific to antigens. When the tumour matches them, they quickly start replication and shrink or destroy the tumour fully.
There are some serious drawbacks, as with cutting-edge cancer treatments. Despite the basic similarities between humans and mice, many treatments are ineffective in humans.
Although S. epidermidis is all over our top skin, researchers don’t know if it causes an immune response in humans or if they may need to find another genetically modified bacterium.
Therefore, more testing on mice and other animals is required before human trials, and it is expected to begin within the next few years.