Research ArticleCancer

Intratumoral injection of Clostridium novyi-NT spores induces antitumor responses

Science Translational Medicine  13 Aug 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 249, pp. 249ra111
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3008982

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Fighting Cancer with Clostridium

Tumors are composed of necrotic, hypoxic, and well-oxygenated regions. Hypoxic tumor regions are more resistant to systemic anticancer agents and radiotherapy. However, they provide a fertile ground for the growth of anaerobic bacteria. Roberts et al. use an attenuated strain of the anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium Clostridium novyi (C. novyi-NT) and demonstrate precise, robust, and reproducible antitumor responses when C. novyi-NT spores were injected into tumors of rats, dogs, and one human patient. These results support the further development of intratumoral injections of C. novyi-NT spores as a therapeutic for patients with locally advanced, nonresectable cancers.