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Injecting bacteria shrinks tumors in dogs and one patient: study

General August 13, 2014

By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) – Common soil bacteria injected into solid cancers in pet dogs and one human patient shrank many of the tumors, scientists reported on Wednesday. The preliminary findings offered hope that the experimental treatment could turn out to be more effective than existing cancer therapies for some inoperable tumors such as those of the lung, breast, and pancreas, which often fail to respond to radiation and chemotherapy. “But these conditions make the tumors perfect for bacteria that thrive in low-oxygen environments,” said oncologist Shibin Zhou of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland, a senior author of the study. Doctors first tried using streptococcus bacteria to attack tumors 100 years ago, but that and recent attempts with salmonella proved to be toxic, ineffective, or both.

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