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Engineering of bacterial strains and their products for cancer therapy

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journal contribution
posted on 03.01.2014, 00:00 authored by Nuno Bernardes, Ananda M. Chakrabarty, Arsenio M. Fialho
The use of live bacteria in cancer therapies offers exciting possibilities. Nowadays, an increasing number of genetically engineered bacteria are emerging in the field, with applications both in therapy and diagnosis. In parallel, purified bacterial products are also gaining relevance as new classes of bioactive products to treat and prevent cancer growth and metastasis. In the first part of the article, we review the latest findings regarding the use of live bacteria and products as anti-cancer agents, paying special attention to immunotoxins, proteins and peptides. In particular, we focus on the recent results of using azurin or its derived peptide as anticancer therapeutic agents. In the second part, we discuss the challenges of using metagenomic techniques as a distinctive approach for discovering new anti-cancer agents from bacterial origin.


N.B. acknowledges a PhD grant (SFRH/BD/48763/2008) from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT). Research in the A. M. Fialho lab was supported by FCT (Grant PTDC/EBB/BIO/100326/2008).


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Post print version of article may differ from published version. The final publication is available at; DOI: 10.1007/s00253-013-4926-6


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