Scientists Find Bacteria in Pancreatic Tumors that Metabolize a Common Drug

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To the reasons that chemotherapy sometimes does not work, we can now add one more: bacteria.

In a study published today in Science, researchers describe findings that certain bacteria can be found inside human pancreatic tumors. The findings further showed that some of these bacteria contain an enzyme that inactivates a common drug used to treat various cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Working with mouse models of cancer, they demonstrated how treatment with antibiotics on top of chemotherapy may be significantly superior to treatment with chemotherapy alone.

The research was conducted in the lab of Dr. Ravid Straussman of the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Molecular Cell Biology Department, led by his graduate student Leore Geller and conducted in collaboration with Dr. Todd Golub and Dr. Michal Barzily-Rokini of the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Many other collaborators supported different aspects of the study. Read more . . .

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