Malaria research opens door to potential new cancer treatment

14 October 2015

Proteins found in malaria could form the basis of effective new cancer treatments, a study suggests.

Researchers at Kairos Therapeutics and VAR2 Pharmaceuticals were looking into how to tackle malaria in pregnant women when it became apparent that the protein VAR2CSA has cancer-fighting properties.

The protein binds itself to a type of sugar molecule found in the placenta which is also found in most cancer cell types.

As a results, scientists believe VAR2CSA could be used to target the molecule in cancer cells in order to kill tumours and growths.

Researchers believe this approach could successfully treat the majority of cancer types, such as breast, prostate, ovarian, blood, lung and pancreatic cancer.

John Babcook, president and CSO of Kairos Therapeutics., commented: "I have worked for more than 25 years developing therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and I have never seen a target so broadly expressed on different forms of cancer as VAR2CSA."

osted by Jeanette Royston

 

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