While all forms of cancer are risky, brain cancer is particularly challenging to treat. Many of the chemicals used to eradicate tumors in other areas of the body cannot make it through the natural safety net known as the blood-brain barrier. Oncologists are also wary of removing any tissue from the brain because a single mishap could permanently impact cognitive abilities. Indianapolis elder care staff shares information about a new promising treatment for brain cancer.
Breakthroughs in Brain Cancer Treatments
Biomedical engineers at Duke University recently decided to completely rethink brain cancer treatments. Instead of using traditional chemotherapy to attack the tumors, they decided to harness the power of bacteria. After altering the genetic makeup of bacterium Salmonella typhimurium, researchers found these microorganisms can bypass the blood-brain barrier, hunt down the tumors, and attack their source of energy. No trials have been conducted on humans, but the initial tests on rats are promising.
Enhancing the Prognosis
Salmonella is not a permanent cure for brain cancer, but it could potentially increase the lifespan of an individual with the condition. During the trials at Duke University, 20 percent of rats that were treated with Salmonella had an average lifespan of 100 days. Those numbers seem low to many people, but 100 days for a rat is equivalent to 10 human years. Currently, just 10 percent of those who are diagnosed with glioblastoma make it to 5 years.
Finding a Cure
Cancer is an extremely complex set of diseases, and there is no single cure that works for everyone with the condition. Researchers at Duke University are just one of the many teams looking for ways to increase the lifespan of individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer. Salmonella might be just one of many tools to enhance an individual’s prognosis while more aggressive treatments completely destroy the brain tumors.
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