Recent research suggests that Clostridium-based tumor targeted therapy holds promise for the treatment of solid tumors. Upon systemic administration, various strains of non-pathogenic clostridia have been shown to infiltrate and selectively replicate within solid tumors. This specificity is based upon the unique physiology of solid tumors, which is often characterized by regions of hypoxia and necrosis. Clostridial vectors can be safely administered and their potential to deliver therapeutic proteins has been demonstrated in a variety of preclinical models.
Clostridia are Gram-positive, spore-forming bacteria. Some strains of clostridia can cause disease in humans, for example botulism, food poisoning and gas gangrene. However non-pathogenic strains have been shown to have a role in biotechnology and can utilize various waste products to produce ethanol.
Further reading: Clostridium