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Trends Microbiol. 2006 Apr;14(4):190-6. Epub 2006 Feb 24.

Clostridium spores as anti-tumour agents.

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Rega Institute for Medical Research, Minderbroedersstraat 10, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.


The successful treatment of cancer remains a huge challenge. Consequently, efforts are being made to develop alternative methods of tumour therapy. One of these is the use of live Clostridium species, based on the observation that obligatory anaerobic bacteria specifically colonize the hypoxic and necrotic regions that are present in solid tumours but normally absent in other parts of the body. Although past results have fuelled scepticism about its clinical use, recent promising findings emphasize the potential of Clostridium-directed tumour therapy. These recent developments are reviewed and the reintroduction of this tumour-targeting protein delivery system into clinical settings is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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