14 October 2008

Shark blood may fight cancer

Antibodies in shark blood could offer a powerful weapon against 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


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Cancer expert

CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst. For more information, visit

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules