Researchers at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota believe sharks could hold answers to fighting and preventing cancer. Mote’s just received a 2-year, $35,000 grant to explore that connection. The money comes from the National Institutes of Health.
A shark’s immune cells secrete compounds that inhibit the growth of cell lines from some human tumors. Scientists want to know more about those compounds.
Director of Mote’s Shark Research Center, Dr. Bob Hueter—speaking to WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live—said it has long been believed that sharks rarely get cancer.
“This reputation that sharks have of being relatively cancer free IS deserved. That is not a myth. Much of the studies at Mote—in a whole area of our shark research center—is pointed to try and figure out what it is sharks are doing to keep themselves relatively cancer-free… and what we can learn from them to treat the disease in our own bodies.”
Biochemist Dr. Carl Luer and Immunologist Dr. Cathy Walsh are most closely working in this area of research at Mote. And they say there’s still a lot of work ahead.
Tuesday, 09 August 2005 01:00