Scientists may have ‘accidentally’ found cancer cure
Scientists in Denmark might have accidentally found the ‘cure’ to cancer, after unexpectedly discovering that a malaria protein could prove to be an effective weapon against the disease.
Danish researchers made the discovery while finding a way of protecting pregnant women from malaria, which is a major problem as it attacks the placenta. During the research, they found that armed malaria proteins can attack cancer, too – taking them a step closer to curing the disease, UK’s The Independent reported today.
According to the report, ‘scientists combined the bit of protein that the malaria vaccine uses to bury into cells and combined it with a toxin – that can then bury into cancer cells and release the toxin, killing them off.’
Scientists found that in both cases the malaria protein attaches itself to the same carbohydrates; similarities between those two things that the cure could exploit. The carbohydrate ensures that the placenta grows quickly.
The team explained how this serves the same function in tumours, with the malaria parasite attaching itself to the cancerous cells and possible killing them off.
“For decades, scientists have been searching for similarities between the growth of a placenta and a tumor,” Ali Salanti from University of Copenhagen told The Independent. “The placenta is an organ, which within a few months grows from only few cells into an organ weighing approximtely two pounds, and it provides the embryo with oxygen and nourishment in a relatively foreign environment. In a manner of speaking, tumors do much the same, they grow aggressively in a relatively foreign environment.” Details