Clostridia in Anti-tumor Therapy
Asferd Mengesha, Ludwig Dubois, Kim Paesmans, Brad Wouters, Philippe Lambin and Jan Theys
from: Clostridia: Molecular Biology in the Post-genomic Era (Edited by: Holger Brüggemann and Gerhard Gottschalk). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2009)
Although traditional anticancer therapies are effective in the management of many patients, there are a variety of factors that limit their effectiveness in controlling some tumors. These observations have led to interest in alternative strategies to selectively target and destroy cancer cells. In that context, Clostridium-based tumor targeted therapy holds promise for the treatment of solid tumors. Upon systemic administration, various strains of non-pathogenic clostridia have been shown to infiltrate and selectively replicate within solid tumors. This specificity is based upon the unique physiology of solid tumors, which is often characterized by regions of hypoxia and necrosis. Clostridial vectors can be safely administered and their potential to deliver therapeutic proteins has been demonstrated in a variety of preclinical models. However, there are several issues that are still unknown and remain major challenges. In this chapter, we will review the potential use of Clostridium in cancer treatment and discuss the major advantages, challenges and shortcomings of bacterial systems for tumor-specific therapy. In addition, we will highlight the requirements needed to advance the approach into clinical trials read more ...