How sharks could help fight breast cancer - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

How sharks could help fight breast cancer

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Biologist Helen Dooley isn't afraid to dive with sharks. The Scottish researcher says the toothy predators are misunderstood.

"They seem to get bad press," she said. "But they really, really seem to be cool animals."

Cool-- and cold-blooded. And Dooley says shark's blood could help fight breast cancer. Scientists believe an antibody which help sharks fight off disease could do the same job in the human body.

"They have this amazing immune system that keeps them well, even in dirty oceans. And we might be able to use that to help people," Dooley said.

The certain type of antibody found only in the blood of sharks has helped animals fight viruses and parasites for millions of years.

The three-year study will look at how the antibody may stop molecules in some breast cancers from telling cancer cells to grow and divide. If scientists are right, new cancer drugs might be developed with help from deep within the sea.

Health officials say one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

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