A research team lead by Professor Jiandong Huang at HKU engineered the Salmonella into an anaerobe bacterium named YB1 which only survive and thrive in hypoxic regions inside solid tumours. YB1 can effectively inhibit the growth of tumours while being safe to normal tissues. The researchers hope that YB1 can be further developed into a tumour-targeting agent in the near future.
Professor Jiandong Huang at the School of Biomedical Sciences of Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine said, “Owing to the property that YB1 can survive in tumour, it can be viewed as a ‘guided missile’ to deliver destructive ‘warheads’ to the tumour tissue by means of delivering therapeutic proteins and drugs, resulting in tumour regression.”
Bin Yu, Mei Yang, Lei Shi, Yandan Yao, Qinqin Jiang, Xuefei Li, Lei-Han Tang, Bo-Jian Zheng, Kwok-Yung Yuen, David K. Smith, Erwei Song, and Jian-Dong Huang (2012) Explicit hypoxia targeting with tumor suppression by creating an “obligate” anaerobic Salmonella Typhimurium strain. Scientific Reports 2: 436.