Microbial-Based Cancer Therapy: Diagnostic Tools and Therapeutic Strategies

  • Saima Shakil Malik
  • Nosheen Masood
  • Iffat Fatima
  • Zehra Kazmi
Part of the Microorganisms for Sustainability book series (MICRO, volume 17)


It has been more than a century that researchers are focusing on microbial-based cancer treatment and trying to explore novel approaches that can overcome the devastating effects associated with conventional cancer treatments. Great effort has been put to develop live, attenuated, or engineered bacterial strains that can treat cancer by inhibiting or reducing tumor growth. However, uses of bacterial strains have been associated with infections, toxicity, and other harmful effects. Therefore, scientists move toward the idea of using specifically engineered microbial strains and their protein products and compounds that have specific antitumor activity with no or minimal side effects and can be used as antitumor agents. In this way attenuated bacterial strains with embedded foreign genes have been used to convert nontoxic pro-drugs to cytotoxic drugs. Other novel microbial-based cancer treatment modalities include the use of bacterial products like enzymes, proteins, secondary metabolites, and immunotoxins which are capable of targeting cancer cells and reducing/inhibiting their growth either by cell cycle arrest or inducing apoptosis. Current chapter focuses on the available knowledge and future directions regarding microbial-based cancer treatment.


Microbiome Chemotherapy Attenuated bacteria Azurin 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saima Shakil Malik
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nosheen Masood
    • 1
  • Iffat Fatima
    • 3
  • Zehra Kazmi
    • 1
  1. 1.Fatima Jinnah Women UniversityRawalpindiPakistan
  2. 2.Armed Forces Institute of PathologyRawalpindiPakistan
  3. 3.Quaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan

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