Institute of Biomedical Sciences assistant research fellow Dr. Kurt Yun Mou’s team developed a novel cancer therapy and published their results in “Molecular Therapy” in April this year. The research group develop a Trojan Horse approach to target TNF-α for cancer therapy. They employed phage/yeast display to select non-neutralizing antibodies that can piggyback on TNF-α and co-internalize into cells. The antibody conjugated with toxins killed cancer cells in a TNF-α-dependent manner. Intratumoral injection of engineered E. coli secreting the immunotoxin greatly inhibited the tumor growth in mice and enhanced the anti-tumor tumor-infiltrating immune cells, including N1 neutrophils, M1 macrophages, and activated CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes. The results were published in Molecular Therapy.

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Bacteria-based cancer therapy: use TNF-α to mediate Trojan Horse