Wednesday, September 30, 2009
It looks like nature may have found the cure to cancer. Brazilian researchers were studying the Amblyomma cajennense tick and discovered an interesting protein in its spit. After some testing with this protein on rats with tumors, the results were becoming more conclusive that tick saliva may hold the key to cure cancers of the skin, liver and pancreas.
According to AFP, the Factor X active protein in the tick spit "shares some characteristics with a common anti-coagulant called TFPI (Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor), specifically a Kunitz-type inhibitor which also has been shown to interfere with cell growth." Essentially a cancer is a group of cells that are growing out of control, so obviously controlling the growth is extremley important. So the protein was tested on cultures of cancerous cells and "exceeded all expectations." The most interesting thing of the case study, was that it was able to target the cells with cancer, and did not kill normal cells.
The next step was testing on rats:
"If I treat every day for 14 days an animal's tumor, a small tumor, this tumor doesn't develop -- it even regresses. The tumor mass shrinks. If I treat for 42 days, you totally eliminate the tumor," the scientist said.
Obviously, the results of this case are in phase 1, there are always speed bumps, both minor and major that prevent something like this from becoming an extraordinary break through. And, if the time does come that this is turned into the cure for cancer, it took many years before it is in the form of a medicine, and a drug is made available to those with with cancer.
But, it is extremley evident to anyone who really does some research on this that these test results are extremely promising. And, it also goes to show you the extent of nautre's powers, and what we could be missing out on if we continue to destroy it.