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Salmonella Cancer Treatment  (Source: Reuters)
Researchers are waiting for approval to go to human trials

Cancer is one of the most researched diseases on the planet and any breakthrough in treating or diagnosing the deadly disease offers the potential to save human lives. Researchers in the U.S. and Italy working together have developed a new method of killing cancer cells using the salmonella bacteria.

Salmonella can cause serious illness in humans on its own. The researchers say that they are using a form of the bacteria that does not cause illness in humans. The bacterial is able to stimulate an immune response in the human body that leads to the body attacking cancer cells and destroying them.

The salmonella bacteria treatment is part of a new class of cancer treatments that are called immunotherapies also known as therapeutic vaccines. These types of treatment use the body's own defense to fight disease.

Researcher Maria Rescigno from the European Institute of Oncology in Milan said, "We did experiments first in mice and then in cancer cells and immune cells from human patients, and found that the salmonella was doing exactly the same job. Now we are ready to go into (testing on) humans, but we are waiting for authorization."

The salmonella bacteria used in the treatment flags the cancer cells for the body allowing the immune system to target and attack the cells. The process of flagging the cancerous cells uses a protein called connexin 43. This protein is responsible for the tiny communication channels between different types of cells. According to the researchers, these little channels allow tumor protein peptides to enter immune cells and act as red flags for the body, thereby triggering an immune response.

The researchers targeted cells mainly from melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer and has few treatments and no cure today. However, the researchers say that the treatment could also be used to target any type of cancer.

So far, the treatment has been used in mice and with living human cells. The researchers are waiting for FDA approval for human trials now.

The treatment could also be used for prostate cancer, which researchers recently discovered a potential marker for.

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By deviltongue on 8/12/2010 10:33:59 AM , Rating: 4
Not immortal yet. Bet we are getting there!

RE: Soon
By Hydrofirex on 8/12/2010 10:41:43 AM , Rating: 3
Only for the Mega wealthy my friend.


RE: Soon
By bug77 on 8/12/2010 11:34:30 AM , Rating: 2
True. And shocking really, seeing as how developing these treatments costs like what? $5? $10?

RE: Soon
By smackababy on 8/12/2010 11:47:25 AM , Rating: 2
R&D costs always get added into the price, regardless of how much of those costs were paid for by free government money.

RE: Soon
By dreddly on 8/12/2010 11:51:58 AM , Rating: 2
European Institute of Oncology is a NON-PROFIT Cancer Centre in Liman, Italy.

Universities and Institutes primarily come up with the innovations and pharmaceutical companies market and patent them.

RE: Soon
By nstott on 8/12/2010 12:15:56 PM , Rating: 2
Pharma companies cannot patent the work of others. Universities also file patents, which brings in a lot of money after licensing to outside companies.

(This isn't to say that I'm a fan of Big Pharma. They create a lot of medicines for chronic diseases that damage the liver and kidneys as well as causing other chronic problems for which they will sell a remedy to the life-long customer down the road. They shouldn't be allowed to market prescription medication directly to consumers but should be restricted to marketing to doctors and pharmacists.)

RE: Soon
By neihrick1 on 8/12/2010 3:18:16 PM , Rating: 2
if anything goes wrong, will smith is on standby

RE: Soon
By nstott on 8/12/2010 3:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
...and Dustin Hoffman. In the time it takes to complete a two-hour movie plot, we can cure just about any horrible disease...

(Actually, acute disease is what I wish the pharma companies would focus on, but there's less money in a one-time customer. Don't get me wrong; I'm totally a capitalist pig and am all for the free market and making money. Anyway, university research compensates well by targeting that area of medicine.)

RE: Soon
By bupkus on 8/12/2010 2:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
Your response is simplicity itself.

To paraphrase, "if you're rich you get the real medicine, but if you're poor or non-rich you get the placebos. You get what you pay for and nothing else. This is the kind of extreme capitalism that Andrew Ryan from the game Bioshock preaches.
But if you didn't have the poor who would you use for the trials... monkeys?

RE: Soon
By Proxes on 8/12/2010 12:43:52 PM , Rating: 2
So peanut butter and bagged salads are healthier for you than ever!

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