Originally published August 18 2010
Scientists say salmonella helps immune system to destroy cancer cells
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Scientists from Italy and the U.S. claim to have found a new therapeutic way to assist the body in defending against and killing cancer cells -- salmonella bacteria. Based on initial tests in mice and human cancer cells, the team observed that small doses of salmonella actually trigger the immune system to better find and hunt down cancer cells in order to kill them.
"We did experiments first in mice and then in cancer cells and immune cells from human patients, and found that the salmonella was doing exactly the same job," explained Maria Rescigno from the European Institute of Oncology in Milan.
The team explained that the type of salmonella they used was a special form that does not actually cause the disease to infect the body. On the contrary, the bacterial fragments seemed only to help increase immune system levels of connexin 43, the unique protein that assists cells in communicating with each other in order to defend against foreign invaders.
Typically, the human body is able to fight off cancer cells during their early stages of their development. But as they spread throughout the body and multiply, the body is eventually unable to keep up with making enough connexin 43 to fight them all, which results in the cancer taking over the body.
The scientists hope that their discovery will lead to the development of new immunotherapy drugs for cancer patients.
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