Study On Oncotarget Says Common Antibiotics Could Fight Cancer

In a sign that antibiotics may be able to eradicate cancer cells, researchers published a scientific paper in the Oncotarget medical journal. The study, led by University of Manchester Professor, Michael P.Lisanti, tested various classes of FDA-approved preferred antibiotics on eight types of cancerous tumors, and the results were better than promising.

After a conversation with his 8-year old daughter, about her ability to cure cancer when she grows up, Lisanti decided to test a theory he had. During the testing he discovered that some popular antibiotics, which by the way are widely used by physicians today, can kill a variety of cancer cells, and they don’t harm the surrounding healthy tissue. Lisanti formed a team, after his initial research, and began investigating a class of antibiotics that can block cells from providing energy to the cancerous cells. Stem cells that lead to cancer tumors are triggered by bacteria, and kept alive as they spread throughout the body. Studies show that these cells have an abnormally high number of mitochondria. So Lisanti and his team of researchers hypothesized that common antibiotics could likely attack the cancer cells, and perhaps prevent them from reproducing. Download output styles at

They tested their hypothesis in the laboratory by treating the cancer stem cells of seven types of tumors with common antibiotics. Oncotarget published the study detailing his working hypothesis and it summarizes the drug discovery that disrupted the cancer stem cells. The study found that out of the five antibiotics used, four were able to kill off stem cells.

Typical cancer treatments today involve radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or a type of biological therapy and surgery. An oncologist may also use a combination of methods, depending on the type of cancer, but researchers are proving that everyday antibiotics can attack cancerous stem cells. Using this strategy would have a direct impact on cost and invasive approaches to treating cancer.

Leading online medical journal, Oncotarget offers free-access to scientific papers, such as this one. Established in 2010, the multidisciplinary journal is an outlet for researchers to post their data for colleagues, peers and the public to view for free. They are ranked number one among Oncology journals, and overall enjoy a high impact factor, making them one of the most respected medical journals. Learn more about Oncotarget at Research Gate.

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