A surprising result in an experiment on Salmonella bacteria has led to a discovery that may make drug resistant cancer cells more treatable by conventional chemotherapies. Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have found that the Salmonella protein SipA naturally reduces a well-known drug resistant molecule found in many different types of cancer cells.
By delivering the protein attached to tiny gold nanoparticles, researchers were able to dramatically boost tumor sensitivity to chemotherapeutic drugs and shrink colon and breast cancer tumors in mice.
“It is fascinating to think that this discovery has incredible clinical potential for treating certain drug resistant cancers. On the strength of these findings, we’re already moving into pre-clinical development,” said Beth A. McCormick, PhD, vice chair and professor of microbiology & physiological systems at UMass Medical School and a lead author of the study in Nature Communications.