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Cancer cure by malaria vaccine accidentally discovered: study

Cancer cure by malaria vaccine accidentally discovered: study

microscopeWhile investigating a way to create an effective malaria vaccine for pregnant women without it attacking the placenta, Danish researchers found that their experimental malaria vaccine can attack cancer cells. The research was published on the journal Cancer Cell and states that the researchers have found a way to destroy cancer tumors by using the way malaria attacks the placenta. This is possible because tumors and the placenta are characteristically similar.

“The placenta is an organ, which within a few months grows from only few cells into an organ weighing approximately 2 pounds, and it provides the embryo with oxygen and nourishment in a relatively foreign environment,” according to study author Ali Salanti, via the University of Copenhagen News. “In a manner of speaking, tumors do much the same—they grow aggressively in a relatively foreign environment.”

The researchers mixed the malaria protein and a toxin which destroys cancer. When applied in lab tests, the researchers found that the mixture was effective in killing cancer samples. Next, they were tested on mice that were implanted with three types of human cancers including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma tumors. They found that it reduced the lymphoma tumors to 25 percent its original size, killed off the prostate cancer in 2 out of 6 mice and prolonged the survival of 5 out of 6 mice that had metastatic bone cancer.

“We have separated the malaria protein, which attaches itself to the carbohydrate and then added a toxin,” said co-researcher Mads Daugaard from Canada’s University of British Columbia, in the report by the Independent. “By conducting tests on mice, we have been able to show that the combination of protein and toxin kill the cancer cells.”

Thomas Mandel from the University of Copenhagen stated that the potential malaria vaccine enabled the mice outlive their untreated counterparts. However, whether it works on humans remain to be seen.

“The biggest questions are whether it’ll work in the human body, and if the human body can tolerate the doses needed without developing side effects,” Salanti said via Mirror. “But we’re optimistic because the protein appears to only attach itself to a carbohydrate that is only found in the placenta and in cancer tumors in humans.”

However, the vaccine will not be recommended for pregnant women because the added toxin will attack the placenta as it will be believe it is a tumor.

Source: Latinos Health