American scientists from the California Institute of Technology have found a way to use ultrasound to control bacteria and make them destroy cancer cells.
The results of the study have been published in the journal Nature Communications.
A specialized strain of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria has been developed that can detect and penetrate cancer cells when introduced into the patient's body. When the bacteria arrive in cancerous tumors, they are exposed to pulses of ultrasound to activate the release of potent drugs.
In their experiments, the researchers found that mice exposed to this strain of bacteria and ultrasound showed much slower tumor growth than mice treated only with ultrasound or only with bacteria, or those that were not manipulated at all. However, the scientists noted that tumors in some mice did not shrink even when the method was fully used.
Nevertheless, the specialists consider the results to be quite promising, as they indicate the direction for further work. The experts also added that, as with any new technology, some things will need to be optimized. For example, the ability to visualize bacteria with ultrasound and target them more accurately must be added.