Many attempts have been made to cure many types of cancers and as the attempts overcome this horrendous disease, the mortality rate of cancer has been surprisingly declined. According to American Cancer Society’s annual Cancer Statistics report – since 1991, the rate of cancer mortality has declined from 215.1 per 1000 to a little over 173 in 2009. However, this statistics report only apply to main cancer groups viz. lung, colon and rectum, breast and prostate.
The gloomy side of the story is that – in spite of so many attempts, pancreatic cancers sternly remains immune to any kind of treatment. The one-year relative survival rate of pancreatic cancer is 20%, and the five-year rate is 4%. Well, we are going slowly towards the edge of saying “Sayonara” to this vicious disease. Thanks to the combined group of researchers team led by Claudia Gravekamp of California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute and Ekaterina Dadachova of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. The team has successfully made a genetically modified bacteria that can halt cancerous cells from metastasizing.
This is how they did it:- Gravekamp was studying on an attenuated Listeria-based vaccine in mice carrying a highly aggressive metastatic form of breast cancer. She found that the microbes infected and killed the cancer cells directly without effecting healthy tissue. Later on, she teamed up with Ekaterina Dadachova and combined modified Listeria with the radioactive compound rhenium-188. They injected the mouse (that has already been infected with a highly metastatic form of pancreatic cancer) with this genetically modified bacteria and found out that this treatment reduced the number of metastatic cells by 90%.
“This is an innovative and promising approach for a bad, bad disease,” says Fred Gorelick, a clinician and researcher at Yale University who specializes in diseases of the pancreas.
More information at Science Now.