A recent study has revealed how a parasitic fish can help in fighting strokes as well as cancer conditions.
While it might be an ancient science of using animals like fish to deliver therapeutic drugs effectively, a team of researchers in an all-new study have taken forth the same approach towards treating brain strokes as well as cancer.
Lampreys –a parasitic fish specimen, are famous as the oldest surviving species that resemble the jawless eel-like fish. Lampreys are known to be found both in coastal sea waters as well as fresh river waters –across the temperate regions of the world.
Role of Lampreys in Cancer & Stroke Fighting
Lampreys are strange-looking, eel-like fish creatures that are characterized specifically by their boneless, uncanny tooth-lined mouth. Lampreys are also known to be parasitic as they feed on the blood of other common fish species.
As per a new study, it has been revealed that the strange aquatic animals can serve to be the adaptive vehicle for the delivery of therapeutic drugs for treating the biological effects or certain health conditions related to the brain.
The all-new study was conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison along with another team from the University of Texas, Austin. The given study aims at looking at a specific molecule type from the lamprey’s immune system –referred to as VLRs (variable lymphocyte receptors).
The Unique “Lampreys” Approach
In the given study, the researchers explained that the fact that makes the VLRs quite unique as well as interesting is its ability to focus on the ECM (Extracellular Matrix) –a complex network of macromolecules providing structure to the surrounding cells.
ECM is known to make up a major portion of the CNS (Central Nervous System) of the body. As such, the researchers are hopeful that VLRs can serve helpful in carrying the therapeutic drugs to the brain while boosting the overall effectiveness of the treatments that are available for brain strokes, trauma, and even brain cancer.
The given set of targeting molecules ECM tend to be slightly agnostic to the particular disease. As such, scientists believe that the same approach could be effectively applied in the form of a revolutionary, platform technology across various conditions. The researchers also tested the given hypothesis on mice samples having aggressive brain cancer. Lampreys approach has proven to be a promising treatment option for brain strokes and cancers.