Danino explores using bacteria to fight cancer in new Nature paper

Synchronized Lysis

A promising method to fight cancer using bacteria to deliver drugs has been developed by Columbia Biomedical Engineering professor Tal Danino and a group of researchers at the University of California San Diego and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 
 
The genetically engineered bacteria release drugs when they simultaneously lyse, or self-destruct. Any remaining bacteria then reproduce and repeat the cycle. This method is attractive due to the ability of the bacteria to effectively release drugs into the surrounding tumor environment, and the fact that the bacteria colony self-limits its population.  Danino found that treatment with the engineered bacteria reduced tumor growth rate in mice, and a combination of the bacteria and chemotherapy led to a significant increase in life expectancy in mice with liver metastases.
 
Read the complete paper, "Synchronized cycles of bacterial lysis for in vivo delivery" in Nature.


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