Team:HKUST-Hong Kong/Potential Application


Team:HKUST-Hong Kong -


Regarding the drawbacks of conventional cancer therapies and the requirements of novel cancer therapy from patients, we designed our project so as to meet the needs in clinic. With properties of target binding and controllable anti-tumor molecule synthesis, B. Hercules provides its own potentials in cancer therapy at least in the following aspects:

  1. Diagnosis:
  2. Screening of colon cancer has been facing great challenges, as reflected by the low detecting rate. Primarily, the first detection of colon cancer is either depending on stool tests or endoscopic screening. While the sensitivity of stool test is relatively low, endoscopic is more sensitive but complex and expensive. Without effective and simple detecting method, the mortality rate of colon cancer is unlikely to decrease.
    It is obvious that the most ideal way for screening is to employ a simple, sensitive and inexpensive method to detect the earliest form of colon cancer. B. Hercules designed in our project can to some extent meet the criteria.
    B. Hercules can bind to colon tumor and localize it with the help of RPMrel peptide displaying on its cell wall and thus serve as a detector of colon cancer cell, . Even without previous knowledge on the location of colon tumor, B. Hercules can still execute its function in killing cancer cells as long as BMP-2 synthesis system is induced after B. Hercules colonizing around colon tumor. B. Hercules takes use of the simplest therapeutic access, orally taking medicine, to perform detection. In the meanwhile, it combines the function of a cancer detector and combatant which can execute cancer treatment as soon as colon cancer is detected.

  3. Neoadjuvant and Adjuvant therapy:
  4. Replacing chemotherapy engaging in neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy is one of the biggest potential applications of our B. Hercules. Neoadjuvant therapy refers to the treatment given before main therapy which usually used to facilitate radiotherapy or surgery by shrinking the size of tumor. Adjuvant therapy, the supplement of main therapy executing after surgery or radiotherapy is usually engaged to eliminate the chance of relapse of tumor.
    Compared with chemotherapies on colon cancer, B. Hercules can largely reduce the adverse effects from wide-spreading anti-tumor drug through its target-binding property.
    In addition, instead of determining the dosage of drug based on doctor’s experience, having B. Hercules before or after main treatment can accomplish semi-auto adjustment of drug dosage. When more cancer cells exist in colon, more B. Hercules will be retained in colon and induced to produce anti-tumor drug. On the other hand, if cancer cells were no longer present in colon, the induction effect from xylose will not lead to BMP-2 release. In another words, the dosage of drug can be controlled even in the absence of an accurate detection of cancer cells in colon.