Bacterial-directed enzyme prodrug therapy.

P Lehouritis, C Springer, M Tangney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current conventional treatments for cancer lack tumour selectivity resulting in the destruction of healthy tissue and severe adverse effects to the patient in addition to limiting the administration dose and efficacy. Hence, it is imperative that we seek alternative approaches to treat cancer that localise therapeutic agents to the site of the tumour and spare normal tissue. The use of bacteria in cancer therapy represents one such approach. Bacteria were first used as anti-cancer agents over a century ago. Today, this field has re-emerged from the past and is progressing at a rapid rate. Bacteria are used as anticancer agents either alone or in combination with conventional treatments and have been armed with an arsenal of therapeutic genes, which enhance their efficacy. Bacterial directed enzyme prodrug therapy (BDEPT) is one of the most promising approaches, which harnesses the tumour-specific location of bacteria to locally activate systemically administered ‘prodrugs’ within the tumour in order to induce selective tumour destruction. BDEPT is a relatively new concept. It was originally conceived more than 10 years ago but it is only until recently that we witness a surge in activity in this field. In this review, we provide a full account of developments in the field of BDEPT since its inception. We share technical knowhow and discuss optimization strategies for vector and enzyme combinations, provide a clear view of the research landscape and suggest possible directions for the field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-131
JournalJournal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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