Salmonella Typhimurium as an Anticancer Therapy: Recent Advances and Perspectives

  • Katherine M. Broadway
  • Birgit E. ScharfEmail author
Microbial Anti-cancer Therapy and Prevention (PJF Rider, L Sweeny, and KG Kousoulas, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Microbial Anti-cancer Therapy and Prevention


Purpose of Review

Bacteria were first conceived as potential cancer therapeutics in the nineteenth century. Since then, a wide range of advancements has been made especially in the advent of microbial engineering, particularly in the Salmonella Typhimurium serovar. Recent developments include attenuated profiles of Salmonella for safe delivery, as well as genetic engineering for targeting to cancerous tissue and improved efficacy for antitumor effects. This review provides a summary of recent advances in the field of Salmonella-mediated cancer therapy and implications for further clinical testing.

Recent Findings

A focus of recent Salmonella-mediated cancer therapies is genetic engineering of the bacteria for optimized tumor targeting and anticancer effects. Careful design has led to the use of attenuated Salmonella as drug delivery vehicles and tumor-targeting therapeutics with excellent safety and therapeutic efficacy in countless murine tumor models. Moreover, Salmonella has the potential for use as imaging and diagnostic tools that would improve patient prognosis through early awareness.


Here, we have detailed recent advances in the use of Salmonella as a therapy to combat cancer. Continued innovative and novel discovery in this field of study will yield a promising future for the use of Salmonella-mediated cancer therapies in cancer care.


Antitumor agents Bacterial engineering Bacterial-mediated cancer therapy Cancer therapy 



The images in this article were created using BioRender.

Funding Information

This work was supported by College of Science Dean’s Discovery Fund from Virginia Tech to B.E.S.K.M.B. was supported by a Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) post-doctoral fellowship in microbiology.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological CenterAberdeen Proving GroundUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences, Life Sciences IVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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