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Bacterial Cure for Cancer - Essay Example

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Bacterial Cure for Cancer 16-09-11 Bacterial Cure for Cancer Introduction: Today, in developing countries cancer is one of the leading causes of death. The incidence of cancer as a cause of death is rapidly increasing. Cancer cells originate due to mutation of a host cell in response to chemical carcinogens, viruses or radiation…
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Download file to see previous pages Therefore, we only develop cancer when our immune cells fail to either recognize or destroy these abnormal cells. Unfortunately, most tumor and cancerous cells show little response to the control mechanisms of the human immune system. One reason why cytotoxic T cells fail to recognize malignant cells is due to the actions mediated by the antigens on these malignant cells (Medicine Net 2011). Breakthrough in Cancer treatment: Dr. Jane They of Maastricht University states that an effective cancer treatment with gene therapy involves three aspects. Firstly, we need to identify and isolate a therapeutic gene which will show tumor regression. Secondly, the anti cancer agent used must be equipped with the ability to differentiate between cancerous and normal host cells. Last but not the least; the employed therapeutic gene must be capable of effectively locating the necrotic areas within the tumor. This is where the bacterial use for cancer treatment comes in i.e. to provide a way to deliver the therapeutic gene to the cancerous cells. (Spreen et al 2009) Over the years scientists have been continuously striving to develop a cure for cancer; from surgery, drugs and chemotherapy. However, scientists have been successful in finding an effective cure for cancer by using an innocuous soil bacterium known as Clostridium. However, the observation that bacteria can be used to target and destroy cancerous cells is not a new one, in fact the idea dates back to almost 150 years. Two German physicians W. Busch and F. Fehleisen observed cancer regression in patients who suffered from accidental erysipelas infections during the time they were hospitalized. Moreover, an American physician William Coley observed that one of his neck cancer patient started showing dramatic recovery after contracting an erysipelas infection. The discovery that bacteria can cause cancer regression motivated Coley and he dedicated his entire life to seek ways to use bacteria in cancer therapy. Unfortunately, no effective bacterial cure for cancer could be discovered which did not cause serious toxicological complications in patients. However, several years later, the interest to use bacteria for the treatment of solid tumors was re sparked. Clinical trials involving Clostridium began in the early 1960s. The pathogenic species of Clostridium are responsible for serious illnesses such as tetanus and botulism. Whereas, most Clostridium species are innocuous that thrive in anaerobic conditions. These anaerobic bacteria form highly resistant spores when exposed to oxygen rich conditions. However, the bacteria cannot grow or multiply within these highly resistant spores. Several experiments in animals revealed that preferential proliferation in necrotic areas of tumor was shown by anaerobic pathogenic species of Clostridium. Although tumor regression was observed in animals treated with clostridium but most of them developed acute toxicity and later died. Therefore, researchers decided to use non pathogenic species strains such as Clostridium M55 for the treatment of tumors. Clostridium M55 and Clostridium sporongenes are non pathogenic species which can only grow in anaerobic surroundings such as deep soils or within the necrotic regions of tumors. Therefore, an intravenous administration of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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