The next major breakthrough in cancer treatment could come thanks to a bacterium that is found in soil with researchers expected to test the effectiveness of delivering cancer drugs using the bacteria some time in 2013.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham have identified the bacterial strain Clostridium sprogenes as the best way to transfer drugs effectively to tumor cells since the bacteria grows only in oxygen depleted environment.
"When Clostridia spores are injected into a cancer patient, they will only grow in oxygen-depleted environments, i.e. the centre of solid tumors. This is a totally natural phenomenon, which requires no fundamental alterations and is exquisitely specific. We can exploit this specificity to kill tumor cells but leave healthy tissue unscathed", lead researcher Professor Nigel Minton said.