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Salmonella May Be Used to Fight Brain Tumors

Salmonella is a bacterium that is responsible for millions of cases of food poisoning every year. After being consumed, it quickly begins to attack the gastrointestinal tract and cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Even though these microorganisms have a negative reputation, researchers at Duke University believe they can alter Salmonella and turn it into an effective treatment for brain cancer. Temple, TX, senior care experts discuss the findings of the research.

Treating Glioblastoma

Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain cancer that is challenging to treat. The human brain has a natural safety feature known as the blood-brain barrier, and most traditional cancer treatments cannot bypass it. It is also risky to surgically remove brain tumors, and many oncologists only consider an invasive procedure as a last resort. With Salmonella cells, doctors might be able to eradicate glioblastoma brain tumors with nothing more than weekly injections.

Genetically Altering Bacterium Salmonella Typhimurium

After making a number of changes to the genetic makeup of Salmonella, researchers were able to minimize the bacteria’s impact on the gastrointestinal tract. They also discovered that removing key proteins forced the bacteria to hunt for new sources of energy. Glioblastoma cells produce the protein Salmonella needs to survive, so the bacteria naturally seeks out and attacks the tumors. The biomedical engineers hope they can carry out human trials within the next few years.

Is Salmonella the Cure?

There is no single treatment that cures all forms of cancer, but Salmonella could potentially increase the lifespan of those who have brain tumors. The most recent trials revealed researchers were able to increase the lifespan of 20 percent of the rats that were tested by 100 days, which is equivalent to 10 human years. Currently, just 10 percent of those diagnosed with glioblastoma survive for 5 years.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with a brain tumor or another condition and you are not able to meet his or her needs, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We offer 24-hour and part-time care. Temple, TX, families can call 254-856-0600 to learn more about the support their loved one needs while managing an illness. Call one of our Care Managers and schedule a free in-home consultation.