Research Perspectives:

Targeting Tumors with Salmonella Typhimurium- Potential for Therapy

Daniel M. Wall, C.V. Srikanth and Beth A. McCormick _

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Oncotarget. 2010; 1:721-728. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.206

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Received: December 23, 2010, Accepted: December 29, 2010, Published: January 3, 2010

When one considers the organism Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium), one usually thinks of the Gram-negative enteric pathogen that causes the severe food borne illness, gastroentertitis. In this context, the idea of Salmonella being exploited as a cancer therapeutic seems pretty remote. However, there has been an escalating interest in the development of tumor-therapeutic bacteria for use in the treatment of a variety of cancers. This strategy takes advantage of the remarkable ability of certain bacteria to preferentially replicate and accumulate within tumors. In the case of S. Typhimurium, this organism infects and selectively grows within implanted tumors, achieving tumor/normal tissue ratios of approximately 1,000:1. Salmonella also has some attractive properties well suited for the design of a chemotherapeutic agent. In particular, this pathogen can easily be manipulated to carry foreign genes, and since this species is a facultative anaerobe, it is able to survival in both oxygenated and hypoxic conditions, implying this organism could colonize both small metastatic lesions as well as larger tumors. These observations are the impetus to a burgeoning field focused on the development of Salmonella as a clinically useful anti-cancer agent. We will discuss three cutting edge technologies employing Salmonella to target tumors.


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