Cat Poop Parasite Shows Promise in Treating Cancer

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Cat Poop Parasite Shows Promise in Treating Cancer Empty Cat Poop Parasite Shows Promise in Treating Cancer

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:17 pm

A kitty poop parasite has led to a treatment that wipes out cancer in lab tests, including aggressive melanoma and ovarian cancer, preliminary studies have found.

By itself, the single-celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, is bad news because it can cause illness in infected people and cats. It thrives in the intestines of cats and then comes out the other end. But scientists at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center have figured out a way to engineer a new version of the parasite that they say has remarkable cancer-fighting powers.

“We know biologically this parasite has figured out how to stimulate the exact immune responses you want to fight cancer,” explained David J. Bzik, a professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Dartmouth. “The biology of this organism is inherently different from other microbe-based (treatments) that typically just tickle immune cells from the outside,” said senior research associate Barbara Fox. “By gaining preferential access to the inside of powerful innate immune cell types, our mutated strain of T. gondii reprograms the natural power of the immune system to clear tumor cells and cancer.”

http://news.discovery.com/animals/pets/cat-poop-parasite-shows-promise-in-treating-cancer-140717.htm#mkcpgn=rssnws1

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