Anthrax-toxin to kill bladder cancer
Anthrax toxin may soon help more people win the fight against the bladder cancer– cancer which the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says strikes about 72,000 Americans every year and it kills about 16,000 and is one of the most expensive cancer types to treat.
Currently available treatments for bladder cancer are invasive for its patients who often must sit for some hours at a time with a bladder full of an agent designed to kill cancer cells & tumors. This cancer also is one of the most recurring for people diagnosed with the disease.
Now, scientists at Purdue University have come up with a way to combine the anthrax toxin with a growth-factor to kill bladder cancer cells & tumors. The study is published in the October 4 edition of the International Journal of Cancer.
R. Claudio Aguilar, an associate professor & the assistant head of biological sciences in Purdue’s College of Science, said they have effectively come up with a promising method to kill the cancer cells without harming normal cells in the bladder. He further added it is basically like creating special solutions that target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone.
Aguilar explained the bladder has its own protective layer that saves the good cells from anthrax mixture but offers no protection for cancer cells & tumors. He added the Purdue system works within minutes, instead of the usual hours for bladder cancer treatment, to target the cancer cells in the bladder.
Aguilar works as part of a team focused on cell identity and signaling at the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research. He said they have seen outstanding results with their treatment. It is fast & effective, both of which are critical for people dealing with this devastating disease.
Aguilar & his group worked with the Purdue teams led by Timothy Ratliff, a distinguished professor of comparative pathobiology & the Robert Wallace Miller Director of Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, and Deborah Knapp, the Dolores L. McCall Professor of Comparative Oncology & Director of the Purdue Comparative Oncology Program, to test the solution in dogs with bladder cancer who had run out of other treatment options. Researchers found this new agent decreased the tumor size without causing any other side effects in the animals.
The Purdue research team thinks a similar treatment may help people & animals with other cancers, including those affecting the lungs or skin.
The scientists also worked with partners at the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology & Harvard University.
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