The scientists have accidentally discovered that malaria protein can be effective weapon in the fight against cancer. This discovery could be a step closer to the cure for this dangerous disease.
Team of scientists from Denmark looked for various ways to protect the pregnant women from malaria, which can cause serious problems because it attacks the baby’s placenta. During their research, they found that enhanced malaria proteins attack the cancer cells, which could be a great step forward in the fight against this disease. The team combined the part of the protein which is used in the malaria vaccine to penetrate in the toxin cells. The resulting “cocktail” penetrates in the cancer cells and releases the toxin which kills them. The scientists discovered that in both cases, the malaria protein attaches to the same carbohydrate. This knowledge could help in the process of making the cure for cancer.
“The scientists looked for the similarities between the growth of placenta and tumors,” explains Ali Salanti from the Copenhagen University. “Within several months, the placenta grows into 1kg organ that provides oxygen and nutrients only from several cells. In some way, the tumors do the same thing: growing aggressively in unknown environment,” the scientists explained.
The process is already tested on the cancer cells in mice, and the results are explained in the magazine “Cancer Cell”. The scientists are hoping that in the following years they will be able to test this method on people.
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