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A double whammy of "trojan" cells can take out drug-resistant tumors, says researchers

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This is an interesting cancer treatment idea.

"Himanshu Brahmbhatt and Jennifer MacDiarmid of the company Engeneic in Sydney, Australia, had already coaxed bacteria such as E. coli into dividing at their ends, rather than in the middle. This way they produce tiny buds of cytoplasm devoid of chromosomes and other organelles. After washing these "minicells" clear of bacterial toxins, the team loaded them up with chemotherapy drugs and tagged them with antibodies that bind only to tumours. When injected, the minicells destroyed tumors in animals."

Unfortunately, many tumors eventually become resistant to chemotherapy, and the researchers added a second experimental component to the treatment.

"The second wave of minicells containing high doses of the cancer drug doxorubicin was then injected, and the tumours shrank, indicating that the first batch had indeed blocked MDR1 (Nature Biotechnology, DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1547). All of the treated mice were still alive 110 days after being implanted with the tumours, while a group of untreated mice had died by then."
 
 

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