Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Use Bacterial Toxin To Kill Brain Tumors

Date:
July 1, 1999
Source:
The Hospital For Sick Children
Summary:
Researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) and the University of Toronto (U of T) have used a toxin produced by the same bacteria that cause hamburger disease to completely eliminate malignant human brain tumors grown in mice. The research is published in the June issue of the scientific journal Oncology Research.

Toronto -- Researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) and the University of Toronto (U of T) have used a toxin produced by the same bacteria that cause hamburger disease to completely eliminate malignant human brain tumors grown in mice. The research is published in the June issue of the scientific journal Oncology Research.

Related Articles


"E. coli is a common gastrointestinal bacterium," explains Dr. Cliff Lingwood, a senior scientist at HSC and a Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the U of T. "Some E. coli strains produce a toxin known as verotoxin. Our earlier research has shown that, in the test tube, verotoxin kills certain brain tumor cells very efficiently. We wanted to determine if this was also the case in a living animal."

As part of her doctoral studies in Dr. Lingwood's laboratory, Dr. Sara Arab (now a clinical fellow in Medical Genetics at HSC) injected verotoxin directly into human astrocytoma brain tumors that had been grown in mice. After a single injection, the tumors had shrunk by half within 48 hours. Within seven to 15 days the tumors had completely disappeared and had not reappeared by the end of the experiment (60 days). Both the tumors and their blood vessels were killed by the toxin.

"We are very excited by this observation because astrocytoma is the most common type of malignant brain tumor and the prognosis is poor for patients with this diagnosis," explains HSC neurosurgeon James Rutka, a collaborator in the research and head of the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain tumor Research Centre. Approximately 20,000 people are diagnosed with brain tumors each year in Canada and the United States. "This discovery could be very promising because the verotoxin makes a two-pronged attack on the tumor: it destroys tumor cells and shuts down the tumor's blood supply."

While earlier HSC research has demonstrated that verotoxin-producing E. coli can cause kidney failure, primarily in very young children, the scientists suggest that a window of opportunity exists for verotoxin treatment in older patients.

###Plans are already underway for the next phase of the research: preliminary clinical trials in older children and adults. In that trial, verotoxin will be injected into residual glioblastoma cells following surgical removal of the majority of the tumor. Glioblastoma is the most malignant form of astrocytoma.

This research was supported by the Medical Research Council of Canada and The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation. Select Therapeutics Inc. holds an exclusive licensing agreement with The Hospital for Sick Children to bring the benefits of this research to market.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Hospital For Sick Children. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Hospital For Sick Children. "Scientists Use Bacterial Toxin To Kill Brain Tumors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 July 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990701070106.htm>.
The Hospital For Sick Children. (1999, July 1). Scientists Use Bacterial Toxin To Kill Brain Tumors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990701070106.htm
The Hospital For Sick Children. "Scientists Use Bacterial Toxin To Kill Brain Tumors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990701070106.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins