Engineered bacteria prime solid tumors for immunotherapy
July 9, 2019
By Neozene

Arming the immune system so it can recognize and attack cancer is now a proven strategy for success in fighting some forms of the disease, notably blood cancers. But immunotherapy for solid tumors has proven to be elusive. Scientists at Columbia University hope to change that, using another emerging field of science: synthetic biology. A team at Columbia Engineering and the university’s Irving Medical Center are engineering bacteria that can deliver immunotherapy drugs straight to solid tumors. In mice, the strain of bacteria that the researchers made was able to

Read More

Penn team finds new path to tumor death in mouse models of lymphoma and colon cancer
July 2, 2019
By Neozene

A cancer-causing gene called MYC has proven difficult to target with drugs, so oncology researchers have been looking for ways to combat it indirectly. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found a new method for attacking MYC by targeting a protein that they believe is the oncogene’s Achilles’ heel. Blocking the protein, called ATF4, causes cancer cells to make too much of another type of protein family called 4E-BP. That causes the cancer cells so much stress that they die. The researchers believe that the discovery, published in the

Read More

Cannabidiol shows promise against superbug infections
June 24, 2019
By Neozene

Smoking marijuana is believed to reduce the body’s ability to fight infections. But cannabidiol (CBD), a compound extracted from cannabis, might work as a powerful antibiotic against certain drug-resistant bacteria, scientists in Australia have found. BTX1801, a new CBD-based therapy being developed by Australian biotech Botanix Pharmaceuticals, is effective against several Gram-positive bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae, in lab dishes and animal models, according to a team led by Mark Blaskovich at the University of Queensland. Results from the preclinical study were presented at the annual conference of

Read More