Tumours can be dense pockets of tissue that at their core contain very little oxygen. The dense nature of tumours makes it difficult for drugs to be effectively delivered to the central cells. The head of the Experiment Therapeutics axis, Dr. G. Batist, collaborated with Dr. S. Martel to create a multidisciplinary project bridging engineering, biomedical research, clinics, physicians and treatments. The team focused on a type of bacteria that is drawn to low-oxygen levels. They were able to show that this specific type of bacteria could be loaded with anti-tumour drugs and then deliver the drugs into the low-oxygen core of tumours much more effectively than current practices. This team went on to win the Canada First Research Excellence Award.
Felfoul O, Mohammadi M, Taherkhani S, et al. Magneto-aerotactic bacteria deliver drug-containing nanoliposomes to tumour hypoxic regions. Nat Nanotechnol. 2016;11(11):941-947.