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Cancer

Sharks may aid in the development of new cancer drugs

10 years, 8 months ago

1497  0
Posted on Oct 15, 2008, 7 a.m. By Rich Hurd

Research by scientists in Australia suggests that shark antibodies may prove to be a potent weapon in the war against cancer.

Research by scientists in Australia suggests that shark antibodies may prove to be a potent weapon in the war against cancer.

Professor Mick Foley and colleagues from La Trobe University in Melbourne engineered shark genes to produce antibodies for human therapies. The antibodies have been shown to attach themselves to cancer cells, preventing them spreading, and slowing their growth. The researchers already have evidence to suggest that the antibodies can slow the spread of breast cancer.

This finding, together with the fact that shark antibodies are so incredibly resistant that they can withstand the highly acidic environment of the human gut, has raised hope that the antibodies could lead to the development of a new class of drugs for the treatment of cancer.

It is hoped that the antibodies will also be useful in the treatment of other diseases. The team have already shown that the antibodies can kill malarial parasites by preventing them from invading human blood cells. They are also hopeful that the antibodies will be effective against rheumatoid arthritis.

Shark blood ‘offers cancer hope'. BBC Website. October 13th 2008
 

 

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