Shark blood may fight cancer

Antibodies in shark blood could offer a powerful weapon against cancer, suggest Australian researchers who found the antibodies can withstand high temperatures and extremely acidic or alkaline conditions.

This suggests that shark antibodies may be able to survive in the harsh environment of the human gut, a capability that's vital in the development of a cancer-fighting pill, BBC News reported.

The researchers also found that shark antibodies can also attach to cancer cells and prevent them from spreading.

"The (cancer) cells actually grow less than when we don't add a shark antibody or we add a completely irrelevant shark antibody," said Mick Foley, an associate professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne, BBC News reported. "So this indicates the shark antibody that we have is binding to those cancer cells and for some reason causing them to grow more slowly and perhaps even killing them."

It's also hoped that shark antibodies may treat other conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and malaria. – (HealthDay News)

Read more:
Cancer Centre
Kenyan fish to combat malaria

October 2008

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