A group of researchers from the University of Cincinnati has developed a probiotic that can penetrate and destroy malignant cancers from the inside. Details were published in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.
To do this, scientists have modified the strain of E. coli Nissle. Unlike other species, it is harmless to humans and protects against pathological E-Coli strains. Thanks to the new technology, bubbles form on the outer shell of the bacteria, which contain proteins and enzymes. They destroy the extracellular matrix of cancer cells. After passing through the membrane, the bacteria then carry the enzymes deep into the tumor.
The extracellular matrix of cancers is composed of collagen and hyaluronic acid. This makes it harder for antibodies and immune cells to reach the tumor. This type of protection has a solid cancer. It is a dense tissue surrounded by a hard shell. Unlike cystic neoplasms, it is more difficult to cure and therefore very dangerous.
The new bacterium is adapted to live in oxygen-deprived immunodeficient tissues. These are the ones found in cancers. Scientists still hope that their development can soon be used against tumors in the oral cavity and on the skin. They are also confident that with the help of the bacteria it will be possible to switch from complex cancer treatment to monotherapy, that is, to the use of one drug.