We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Does tick saliva help against cancer?
Scientists in Brazil have discovered a molecule in ticks' saliva that kills malignant cells. According to the researchers, the arachnids' spit could be extremely valuable in the fight against cancer. They hope that tests on humans will be approved soon.
Extremely valuable spit Brazilian researchers at the Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo discovered a molecule in ticks' saliva that kills malignant cells. According to scientists led by project coordinator Ana Marisa Chudzinski-Tavassi, the arachnid spit could be extremely valuable in the fight against cancer. The research team made the discovery rather accidental. The anticoagulant effect of tick saliva should actually be tested. After experimenting with cancer cells, the scientists quickly found that a certain molecule also kills malignant cells.
Promising tests on animals The first tests on rats and mice were promising years ago. For example, “3sat.de” quoted the molecular biologist Chudzinski-Tavassi in 2010 as follows: “In theory, unlike previous treatment options, the protein can be used for targeted cancer treatment.” The team of researchers at the time found that this was the case with two weeks of therapy for cancer-sick rats Small tumor growth stopped and the ulcer became even smaller. It was said that a tumor in rats disappears completely after six weeks of therapy.
Different types of cancer successfully treated The work of the researchers is now shown in a current video by the Reuters news agency. Ms. Chudzinski-Tavassi explains: “Chemotherapy normally attacks the tumor cells more than normal cells. But normal cells are also damaged. And here we saw after 42 days of treatment that normal cells are not attacked. So the effects are much less. ”With ticks saliva, animals with skin, kidney and pancreatic cancer and metastases in the lungs have already been successfully treated.
Hope for experiments on humans The researchers are now hoping that the Brazilian national health authority will soon allow experiments on humans. In recent years, the necessary funds for long-term tests and large investments have been lacking. If one day the saliva of the Amblyomma cayennense tick species could possibly be used for the manufacture of medicines, the reputation of the annoying bloodsuckers could also change. So far, the arachnids are mostly seen only as carriers of the diseases Lyme disease and early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE). (ad)
Image: Thorben Wengert / pixelio.de