A 50-year-old bacterium … a new way to help immunity be discovered


10:00 PM

Monday 18 January 2021

Books – Sayed Metwally
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, unfortunately, there is currently no real cure for it.
Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Scientists try to use the immune system in our body to kill cancer cells.
Normally, the immune system in our bodies identifies and destroys foreign entities in the body, but cancer cells have the ability to evade and form tumors.
The good news is, a researcher at the University of Missouri in the United States of America has uncovered a new way to help the body’s immune system destroy cancer, with the help of a strain of bacteria that is more than 50 years old, according to thehealthsite.
Some normal cells are recognized by immune cells, thus preventing the destruction of normal tissues, but some cancers have also developed the ability to mimic the normal cells and produce the “don’t eat me” signal.
As a result, the immune system fails to recognize cancer as the defective tissue and leaves it alone, explains Yves Chapo, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri.
Immunotherapy drugs block the “don’t eat me” signal and allow the immune system to kill cancer cells.
Using an ancient bacterial strain to fight prostate cancer
However, immunotherapies may not work on some forms of cancer, such as prostate cancer which is highly immunosuppressive, which means it can overwhelm the body’s immune system.
Chapo appears to have solved this problem with the help of a strain of bacteria that is more than 50 years old.
According to Chapo, the bacteria are genetically flexible, and can be genetically modified to overcome a patient’s specific treatment limitations.
“One can imagine genetically modifying bacteria so that they can offload treatments that specifically exploit the unique vulnerabilities of this cancer and kill it,” the researcher said.
In fact, scientists at the Cancer Research Center and the University of Missouri had already developed a distinct genetically and non-toxic strain of salmonella, called CRC2631, to pick and kill cancer cells, that was derived from a strain of salmonella that has been stored at room temperature for more than half a century.
Now, Chapo and other scientists are demonstrating that CRC2631 bacteria can be used to unleash the body’s immune system against prostate cancer.
Because CRC2631 preferentially colonizes cancer cells, the effect is primarily local to the tumor, Chapo said, while suggesting it could be used to design and deliver customized therapies to the patient.
Prostate cancer: when to see a doctor?
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in males.
It begins in the prostate gland, which is a small, walnut-shaped gland in males that produces semen that nourishes and transports sperm.
It occurs mostly in middle-aged men or older, and it is estimated that about 60 percent of cases occur in men older than 65.
Like all types of cancer, there are many risk factors for the prostate, including family history, obesity, genetic changes, exposure to certain chemicals, etc.
Common symptoms of prostate cancer include urinary problems, sexual problems, and pain in the pelvis, back, and chest, so, if you have any of these symptoms, feel free to consult your doctor.

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