Diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients with GM Salmonella bacteria
(2010. 1. 5)
Professor Min Jeong-Joon and his team at the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Chonnam National University have developed a technology that can detect and treat cancer cells by using Salmonella bacteria. The research findings have been published in the January edition of Cancer Research, a US medical journal.
Salmonella bacteria, which can cause food poisoning, are known to proliferate in cancer cells. The researchers, having noticed the behavior, have attenuated Salmonella bacteria whose toxicity has weakened by over one million times. The team, then, modified the gene of the bacteria to generate Cytolysin A, a protein that selectively melts cancer cells. Further, the team also inserted fluorescent genes into the bacteria in order to allow for video imaging of the entire process of diagnosis and treatment.
The researchers are also seeking to further lower toxicity in order to address human health risks. The team forecast that the Salmonella strain with few safety concerns will be able to be clinically tested on humans in five years through injection.
The team also enabled a visual imaging of detection and treatment for the first time in the world in 2008 by inserting fluorescent genes into Escherichia coli strains.