Researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom have been studying the effects of a common bacteria strain on cancerous tumors. This bacteria, known as Clostridium sporogenes, seems to be able to slowly kill cancer cell when injected into these tumors. An anti-cancer drug is inserted in after the bacteria, which activate the drug, killing only the cancer cells. Because C. sporogenes evolved in ancient times when the atmosphere had very little oxygen, the bacteria can survive in places with extremely low oxygen levels, such as the center of a tumor. The bacteria draw in what little oxygen there is, depleting the tumors supply, so it begins to die.
Clostridium sporogenes are naturally sporulating, allowing them to only be active in necrotic tissue. This means that it will only kill this tissue and leave all the healthy parts of the body alone, unlike chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which do not discriminate between healthy and tumorous cells. Surprisingly enough, some of the cousins of C. sporogenes cause some serious diseases in humans, such as botulism, tetanus, and gas gangrene. Yet this bacteria only causes one thing: life.
What will this mean for the future of cancer treatment? What will this mean for the future treatment of other diseases? Will this treatment work for other illnesses?