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A new bacterial therapeutic approach for the treatment of lung cancer

A new bacterial therapeutic approach for the treatment of lung cancer

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Fluorescence microscopic image of lung cancer cells stained with antibodies against proteins involved in cell growth. Credit: Dhruba Deb/Columbia Engineering

Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the United States and worldwide. Many of the currently available therapies are ineffective, leaving patients with very few options. A promising new cancer treatment strategy is bacterial therapy, but while this treatment modality has rapidly progressed from laboratory experiments to clinical trials in the past five years, the most effective treatment for some cancers may be in combination with other drugs.

Columbia Engineering researchers report developing a preclinical evaluation pipeline to characterize bacterial therapies in the lung crab models. Theirs a new studypublished on December 13, 2022, by Scientific reports, combines bacterial therapies with other treatment modalities to improve treatment efficacy without additional toxicity. This new approach was able to rapidly characterize bacterial therapies and successfully integrate them with current targeted therapies for lung cancer.

“We anticipate rapid and selective expansion of our pipeline to improve the efficacy and safety of treatments for solid tumorssaid first author Dhruba Deb, an associate research scientist who studies the effect of bacterial toxins on lung cancer in biomedical engineering professor Tal Danino’s lab, “As someone who has lost loved ones to cancer, I would like to see this strategy to move from the bench to the bedside in the future.”

The team used RNA sequencing to find out how cancer cells responded to bacteria at the cellular and molecular level. They hypothesized that molecular pathways in cancer cells help make cells resistant to bacterial therapy. To test their hypothesis, the researchers blocked these pathways with current cancer drugs and showed that combining the drugs with bacterial toxins was more effective at eliminating lung cancer cells. They confirmed the combination of bacterial therapy with an AKT-inhibitor as an example in mouse models of lung cancer.

“This new study describes an exciting line of drug development that has not been explored before.” lung cancer— the use of bacteria-derived toxins,” said Uppal Basu Roy, executive director of research, LUNGevity Foundation, USA. “The preclinical data presented in the manuscript provide a strong rationale for continued research in this area, thereby opening up the possibility for new treatment options for patients diagnosed with this deadly disease.”

Deb plans to expand her strategy to larger studies in hard-to-treat preclinical models lung cancers and collaborate with clinicians to advance clinical translation.

More info:
Dhruba Deb et al, Combination therapy design for engineered bacterial therapies in non-small cell lung cancer, Scientific reports (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-26105-1

Quote: New Bacterial Therapy Approach to Treat Lung Cancer (2022, December 24), Retrieved December 25, 2022, from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-12-bacterial-therapy-approach-lung -cancer.html

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