Scientists Used Modified Salmonella for Delivering Cancer-fighting Particles into the Tumor


While producing anti-cancer drugs might be one thing, delivering the drugs to the site of the tumor is significantly different.  There is no denying the fact that getting the drugs to the targeted tumors inside the body is a challenging task.  A recent new approach developed by a team of researchers at Virginia Tech aims at analyzing the penetrating properties of anti-cancer drugs.  In the given study, the scientists focused on the penetrative traits of Modified Salmonella – that can serve as the driving force to make the anti-cancer drugs penetrate deep into the tumor in abundance.

The new, breakthrough technology evolves from how the body reacts to the presence of foreign cells that might serve as a threat –like the ones carried by salmonella infection.  In contact with the bacteria, the immune system of the body starts fighting against the same.  This, in turn, can serve to be a bad effect on the cancer cells that are caught in action.  This new approach is a part of the immunotherapy – wherein the scientists are exploring new ways to boost the immune system of the body to fight cancer effectively.


The team of scientists at Virginia Tech deduced whether or not the salmonella bacteria can also be enhanced for delivering the anti-cancer drugs to the site of the tumor.  The idea of this revolutionary technique first came in the mind of Bahareh Behkam –a mechanical engineer at Virginia Tech.  Since the inception of the idea six years ago, the progress is still on the way.   However, there is no denying the fact that this breakthrough technique could serve as the life-changing discovery for the cancer patients out there.

The team at Virginia Tech has dubbed the revolutionary technology as NanoBEADS –Bacteria-Enabled Autonomous Drug Delivery System.  The system consists of nanoparticles that are made out of poly (lactic & glycolic acid) for delivering anti-cancer drugs by chemical attachment of the drug to the attenuated bacteria strain of “Salmonella Enterica serovar Typhimurium VNP2009.”

This attenuated bacteria strain is the weakened form of the Salmonella bacteria that is tailor-made to provoke the immune system of the body.  However, there are no side effects of the bacteria on the body during this process.  Salmonella was chosen for the study as it has been under vigorous study during a clinical trial.