Therapeutic bacteria to combat cancer; current advances, challenges, and opportunities

Mansour Sedighi, Abed Zahedi Bialvaei, Michael R. Hamblin, Elnaz Ohadi, Arezoo Asadi, Masoumeh Halajzadeh, Vahid Lohrasbi, Nima Mohammadzadeh, Taghi Amiriani, Marcela Krutova, Abolfazl Amini, Ebrahim Kouhsari

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

175 Citations (Scopus)


Successful treatment of cancer remains a challenge, due to the unique pathophysiology of solid tumors, and the predictable emergence of resistance. Traditional methods for cancer therapy including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy all have their own limitations. A novel approach is bacteriotherapy, either used alone, or in combination with conventional methods, has shown a positive effect on regression of tumors and inhibition of metastasis. Bacteria-assisted tumor-targeted therapy used as therapeutic/gene/drug delivery vehicles has great promise in the treatment of tumors. The use of bacteria only, or in combination with conventional methods was found to be effective in some experimental models of cancer (tumor regression and increased survival rate). In this article, we reviewed the major advantages, challenges, and prospective directions for combinations of bacteria with conventional methods for tumor therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3167-3181
Number of pages15
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • bacteriotherapy
  • cancer
  • chemotherapy
  • immunotherapy
  • radiotherapy
  • tumoricidal agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging
  • Cancer Research


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