Scientists have created bacteria that feed cancer-fighting immune cells

Title: Fueling The Fight Against Cancer: Scientists Create Bacteria to Feed Cancer-Fighting Immune Cells


Cancer treatment has come a long way in recent years, but there is still much to be done to improve outcomes for patients. One promising development comes from a recent study where scientists have created a type of bacteria that can help feed cancer-fighting immune cells. In this blog, we will delve into the significance of this breakthrough and its potential impact on cancer treatment.

Key Points:

  1. The Role of Immune Cells in Fighting Cancer:
    The immune system is capable of detecting and destroying cancer cells within the body. Immune cells like T-cells and natural killer cells play a critical role in this process by recognizing and attacking cancer cells. However, in many cases, tumors can evade or suppress immune cell function, leading to disease progression. This is where the new bacterial approach comes in.
  2. Engineering Bacteria to Feed Immune Cells:
    Scientists have engineered a type of bacteria to act as a “food source” for immune cells. The bacteria, called Clostridium sporogenes, is modified to produce an amino acid called tryptophan that immune cells need to function effectively. By ingesting the bacteria and the tryptophan it produces, immune cells can be better equipped to fight cancer cells.
  3. Tumor Targeting:
    Another benefit of this bacterial approach is that it targets the tumor itself. The engineered bacteria is designed to accumulate within tumors due to their unique oxygen levels, where they can then deliver tryptophan directly to immune cells within the tumor microenvironment.
  4. Testing in Mice:
    While the study is still in its early stages, promising results have been seen in mice. When the engineered bacteria was introduced into mice with cancer, it helped boost their immune response and slowed tumor growth. This approach is now being tested in larger animal models as a potential treatment option.
  5. Potential Advantages:
    The bacterial approach to cancer treatment offers several potential advantages. Since the bacteria is specifically engineered to target the tumor, it could offer a more targeted and less toxic approach than traditional chemotherapy. Additionally, since immune cells rely on tryptophan to function effectively, providing them with a steady source of tryptophan could help improve treatment outcomes and reduce the risk of immune suppression.
  6. Future Directions:
    The bacterial approach to cancer treatment holds great promise for improving cancer outcomes. Ongoing research is exploring ways to further enhance the bacteria’s immune-boosting properties and optimize delivery to tumors. Additionally, scientists are investigating whether this approach could be combined with other cancer treatments, such as immunotherapies or radiation therapy, to enhance their effectiveness and minimize side effects.


The development of bacterial therapy to feed cancer-fighting immune cells signals an exciting advancement in cancer treatment. By providing essential nutrients to immune cells, these engineered bacteria have the potential to boost the immune response against cancer cells, reduce the risk of immune suppression, and offer a less toxic treatment approach than traditional chemotherapy. Ongoing research is needed to further refine and optimize this approach, but the results seen so far in animal models are a promising step forward in the fight against cancer.