HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS

LATEST UPDATES » Vol 22, No 09, September 2018 – Doctor Robot - The digital healthcare revolution       » Gene helps rice adapt to colder climates       » 'Longevity protein' found effective in primates       » Korean beef inhibits proliferation of colorectal cancer cells       » First 3D printed human corneas       » Zombie gene protects against cancer in elephants      
NEWS CRUNCH
NTU scientists use dead bacteria to kill colorectal cancer cells

Colorectal cancer is the number one cancer in Singapore and the third most commonly occurring cancer in the world. It is characterised by the uncontrolled growth of cells in the epithelial tissue of the large intestine. Like other cancers, treatment options for colorectal cancer haven't changed much over the years and is still restricted to chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.

In a news release issued on Monday (Nov 9), NTU said that a team led by Professor Teoh Swee Hin harnessed the Clostridium sporogenes (C. sporogenes) bacteria in its dead form, and its secretions, to effectively destroy colon tumour cells.

In a 72-hour experiment, the inactive bacteria were able to reduce the growth of colon tumour cells by 74 per cent. The team tested the secretions harvested from a live bacteria culture and these secretions reduced the growth of colon tumour cells by as much as 83 per cent.

NTU said that traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy do not work well in the colon due to reduced blood flow and lack of oxygen and nutrient flow. It said that these therapies use oxygen molecules to damage the DNA of cancer cells and rely on blood flow to transport therapeutic drugs to the tumour. The team conducted the experiments in artificially-created environments resembling the inside of a human body, rather than on a flat surface in a petri-dish.

"In contrast, the NTU team showed that dead C. sporogenes bacteria can kill tumour cells in an oxygen-starved tumour microenvironment," said NTU.

"We found that even when the C. sporogenes bacteria is dead, its natural toxicity continues to kill cancer cells, unlike the conventional chemotherapy drugs which need oxygen to work," explained Prof Teoh.

Prof Teoh said that other research groups have experimented with live bacteria to destroy cancer cells, but this treatment posed a risk of infection as live bacteria will grow and proliferate.

"In the NTU study, as the bacteria were already killed by heat, there was no risk of the bacteria multiplying and causing more harm than the desired dose meant to kill colorectal cancer cells."

Professor James Best, Dean of NTU's Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, said: "This is a significant discovery that potentially opens a new avenue to tackle this very common cancer, which is difficult to treat after it has spread. While it is early days, this exciting research finding provides hope of a new treatment option for millions of people affected by bowel cancer each year."

This study was published in the journal Scientific Reports in October: https://www.nature.com/articles/srep15681

NEWS CRUNCH  
news Shire, Microsoft and EURORDIS form Global Commission to accelerate time to diagnosis for children with rare diseases
news EmTech Asia explores future of life, humanity and economy
news Biology of Ageing II - Impactful Interventions
PR NEWSWIRE  
Asia Pacific Biotech News
EDITORS' CHOICE  
COLUMNS  
Click here to receive APBN e-newsletters once a month!

APBN Editorial Calendar 2018
January:
Obesity / Outlook for 2018
February:
Searching for the fountain of youth
March:
Women in Science - Making a difference
April:
Digestive health in the 21st century - Trust your guts
May:
Dental health - The root to good health
June:
Cancer - Therapies and strategies for better patient outcomes
July:
Water management - Technologies for biotech and pharmaceutical industries
August:
Regenerative technology - Meat of the future
September:
Doctor Robot - The digital healthcare revolution
October:
Bones / Breast cancer
November:
Liver health / Top science research nations & institutions
December:
AIDS / Breakthrough of the year/Emerging trends
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Instructions to Authors
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   biotech_edit@wspc.com or Ms Lim Guan Yu
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   biotech_ad@wspc.com
Copyright© 2018 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy