Lab Update: 2015 in Review

Your contributions over the past year have provided the Saltzman laboratory with funds to carry out the following important experiments that the lab personnel have optimistically named:

“The Home Run”

  1. To the lab’s original genetic engineered construct (stimulating the body’s immune system by a protein that releases cells that kill cancer), they have now entered into the tumor itself to evaluate the mechanisms which fuel the increase in cancer size.
  1. Most importantly, the lab has evaluated 2 genes in tumors that work against the immune system, and antibodies against these genes have been made and are being tested.
  1. Because tumors have an intricate vascular system that contributes to the growth of the tumor, the lab has added an antivascular vessel factor to their genetic construct, along with the antibodies mentioned above to combat the tumor growth system.
  2. The U of MN Veterinary School has also conducted experiments using the lab’s original genetic engineered construct against Osteogenic Sarcoma, the worst bone tumor in long bone dogs (and teenage humans). The results so far have been encouraging.
  3. By adding the antibodies, the antivascular factor, and another protein to the original construct, we are looking forward to another productive year in the Saltzman lab, fighting this most discouraging disease. Thank you for your confidence and support.

dr. saltzman lab

Bioengineering Lab Update

As they learn more about how cancers develop and spread, the bioengineering cancer research lab at the University of Minnesota has focused on the tumor microenvironment where cancers can grow and flourish.

Using genetically altered Salmonella to deliver a cocktail of immune modulating proteins right to a cancerous tumor (into the tumor microenvironment), the immune system is stimulated to make cancer killing immune cells.

In addition, the lab uses engineered salmonella to carry proteins that block the cancer’s ability to suppress the immune system.

Thus, they are altering the cancer’s microenvironment by simultaneously stimulating the immune system to kill cancer and stop the cancer cell’s ability to spread and grow.

The lab still needs to determine how much and how often to give the Salmonella, and if there is a different combination that would be more effective.

Also, the FDA will require several studies once the lab determines which combination is most effective for the Investigational New Drug (IND) application.

Funds are currently being used to study a variety of cancer types.

university of minnesota


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Brittany Woitas

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