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What If Bacteria Could Be Made to Detect Cancer, Signal its Presence and Treat the Cancer? Well it is Possible!

What If Bacteria Could Be Made to Detect Cancer, Signal its Presence and Treat the Cancer? Well it is Possible! | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it

Synthetic biologist Tal Danino had a thought: What if we could create a probiotic, edible bacteria that was "programmed" to find liver tumors?

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Our body is like a complex eco-system and provides a habitat for bacteria and other organisms. In fact 90% of the cells in our body are bacteria cells, not human cells, each containing their own genetic makeup. They provide essential life-support to our physiological processes, and are collectively known as our microbiome which evolves just as we do.

Today it is possible to modify and program the DNA of bacteria cells, and this experimentation is being done. Bacteria can naturally exist and grow inside of tumors. Especially when you consider that tumors may be areas where the immune system has limited access.

So synthetic biologist, Tal Danino, had a left-field thought: What if we could create a probiotic, edible bacteria that was "programmed" to find liver tumors? He created a programmed-probiotic bacteria that would detect particular bacteria inside a liver tumor, and (via programmed DNA) produce a particular color in the urine as a marker for the presence of the tumor. He then went on to program the probiotic bacteria to not only detect the tumor but also to produce therapeutic molecules from within the tumor environment to shrink the existing tumors. His experiments showed that all of this was possible and successful using a mouse-model.

The ability to program bacteria opens up new possibilities and paths of thinking for dealing with cancer and other diseases.

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Gut Bacteria May Affect Cancer Treatment

The bacteria that live in your gut could have a major say in how effective cancer treatments like chemotherapy are on your body. In two papers published today in Science, researchers say that gut...
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

By far, the largest part of the genetic information inside our body is contained in the microbes and bacteria of our microbiome rather than in the human genome itself. The microbiome is the ecological community, or inner terrain, of microorganisms that literally share our body space. The human body contains over 10 times more of these microbial cells than human cells.

There are many researchers today who believe that the microbiome exerts at least as much influence, and possibly more, on our health than the genes we inherit from our parents. Research has implicated the microbiome as a contributor to many disease conditions.

Research just published this week now highlights that the bacteria that live in the microbiome of your gut could have a major say in how effective cancer treatments like chemotherapy are on your body.

This could mean that treatments which have an unintended and unrealized affect on the microbiome could have a direct impact (positive or negative) on the state and progression of the targeted disease condition.

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Typical Western Diets of High Carbohydrate and Refined Sugars Found to Fuel Colon Cancer

Typical Western Diets of High Carbohydrate and Refined Sugars Found to Fuel Colon Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it

Western nations experience high levels of colon cancer, and carbo-loading gut microbes might explain why, says a new study in mice.

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Westerners’ carb-rich diets have long been linked to high levels of cancer.  In country after country where people have switched to Western-style diets heavy in refined sugars such as high fructose corn syrup, the incidence of colorectal cancer has increased, says geneticist Scott Bultman of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

A study published in “Cell” magazine reported on the link between colon tumors and gut microbes. The researchers surmised that when microbes feast on carbohydrates, the germs must produce a chemical that pushes colon cells lacking the ability to repair DNA mismatches toward uncontrollably multiplying into tumors. To find that chemical, they looked to the colon contents of mice that ate low-carb diets or had received antibiotics. Those mice, compared with mice on regular [high-card] diets, had lower levels of a fatty acid called butyrate, one of the byproducts of microbes’ fermentation of carbohydrates.

The researchers then fed mice butyrate-enriched food. Those mice had more tumor polyps, suggesting that the path from Western diets to colon cancer relies on this bacterially produced chemical.

If the mouse experiments mimic human cancers, then shunning high-carbohydrate, Western diets could allay or prevent the disease for many people, says Bultman. “Following a well-balanced diet, with fewer refined sugars and more fiber, is good for the microbiome and likely has an effect on cancer predisposition.”

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s comment, July 24, 2014 2:04 AM
This study included team members from the following institutions:
Department of Immunology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada
Department of Laboratory Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON M5B 1W8, Canada
Ronin Institute, Montclair, NJ 07043, USA
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre/University Health Network, Toronto, ON M5G 1L7, Canada
Centre for the Analysis of Genome Evolution & Function, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3B2, Canada
Department of Medical Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada
Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada
Department of Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, ON M5G 2M9, Canada
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3E2, Canada
Department of Cell Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA
Tambre Leighn's curator insight, July 27, 2014 12:42 PM

How many more studies and headlines do we need before our physicians become educated, trained and courageous enough to speak to patients in no uncertain terms about their obesity (statistics show this conversation is being avoided in doctors' offices across the country along with other 'uncomfortable' topics)?  Before individuals take responsibility and stop putting garbage into their bodies?  Before we say no to the sale of fast food and big deal 'meals' with calorie counts hitting the 2,000 plus range?

 

McDonald's Triple Thick 32 Ounce shake alone is over 1,600 calories!  We need a healthy food revolution, not just for the health conscious, but for everyone if we are going to stop the drain on our healthcare system, reduce suffering of families hit by chronic disease, reverse lost productivity due to sick days and have more people living long, fulfilled and energized lives.  It is a choice.

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Microbes and Obesity Promote Liver Cancer

Microbes and Obesity Promote Liver Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
OBESITY brings problems—notably heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It is not hard to understand its connection with heart disease and diabetes: excess fat clogs...
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

It may surprise some of you to learn that your body is home to microscopic organisms (microorganisms or microbes) that outnumber your 100 trillion human cells by 10 to 1. Microbiology is focused on the study of these microorganisms which are found in every life form on earth and are vital to humans and to the environment. These microorganisms, together with their genomes and interactions, are known by the term ‘microbiome’.

Microbiologists have been studying and researching microbiomes for many years and it is an emerging field gaining more importance in understanding human health and disease. By far, the largest part of the genetic information inside our body is contained in the microbes of our microbiome rather than in the human genome itself. There are many researchers today who believe that the microbiome exerts at least as much influence, and possibly more, on our health than the genes we inherit from our parents.

Research has implicated the microbiome as a contributor to many disease conditions. It has also been found that transplanting microbe communities from healthy people to sick people can be beneficial in treating disease. The Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, in Tokyo has now found through their research experiments that the microbiome has been implicated in liver cancer.

This is an exciting filed of research and opens up possibilities for health and understanding disease that may have not yet been imagined.

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