Employment of Salmonella in Cancer Gene Therapy
One of the primary limitations of cancer gene therapy is lack of selectivity of the therapeutic gene to tumor cells. Current efforts are focused on discovering and developing tumor-targeting vectors that selectively target only cancer cells but spare normal cells to improve the therapeutic index. The use of preferentially tumor-targeting bacteria as vectors is one of the innovative approaches for the treatment of cancer. This is based on the observation that some obligate or facultative-anaerobic bacteria are capable of multiplying selectively in tumors and inhibiting their growth. In this study, we exploited attenuated Salmonella as a tumoricidal agent and a vector to deliver genes for tumor-targeted gene therapy. Attenuated Salmonella, carrying a eukaryotic expression plasmid encoding an anti-angiogenic gene, was used to evaluate its’ ability for tumor targeting and gene delivery in murine tumor models. We also investigated the use of a polymer to modify or shield Salmonella from the pre-existing immune response in the host in order to improve gene delivery to the tumor. These results suggest that tumor-targeted gene therapy using Salmonella carrying a therapeutic gene, which exerts tumoricidal and anti-angiogenic activities, represents a promising strategy for the treatment of tumors.
Key wordsSalmonella Tumor targeting Gene therapy Polymer Antitumor