A2: Microbes in the News

Article and link: Gut microbes can spur immune system to attack cancer by Catherine Paddock, Medical News Today, and Tuesday April2, 2019 and link.

Summary: The article found that there is the a connection between a healthy gut microbiome and the ability for an individuals ability to fight tumor growth. The study conducted by Thomas Gajewski foudn that there were 11 strains of gut bacteria that can help the immune system slow melanoma growth. These bacteria assist pathways that help keep proteins table.

Connections: This connects to how lecture series on the human microbiome and how important the gut is highly diverse and assists with keeping humans healthy.

Critical analysis: I found this entire article very interesting, especially that they found specific bacteria that aid in slowing tumor growth. I’ll be interested to see how this study progresses and if they can add these specific bacteria to individuals going through cancer treatment to assist with the bodies ability to eliminate tumor growth. The mouse model study looks very promising for the transplant of the bacteria but the inflammation response seems like it might be a dangerous side effect in humans who are already going through cancer treatment.

Question: I’m wondering if there will be a way to artificially stimulate the growth of the specific bacteria without transplanting them into a host.



Bacteria That Target Tumors




A genetically modified strain of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S.Typhimurium) is being studied as an anti-tumor agent.


Over the last few weeks it seem like the over whelming topic in class is about how bacteria is going to get us, how to we kill it, there are a few good ones but only because the keep the bad ones from taking root, but in a classic cold war style operation these researchers have flipped a strain of bacteria to our side.

Critical Analysis:

When I first read this article I thought it was like something from a science fiction novel but this type of treatments are over 100 years old. William B. Coley was injecting streptococcal into patients over 100 years ago. While I’m not sure exactly why, this type of treatment gave way to expensive cancer fighting drug and radiation treatments. Now this particular case was more successful in lab animals than human trails this approach is making a come back.


Do you think the answer to killing cancer is bacteria and is just not pursed because there no money in it?