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BREAST MILK ‘ACCIDENTALLY ’ DISCOVERED AS A POTENTIAL NEW CANCER TREATMENT MARIE CLAIRE DORKING


Breast milk ‘accidentally’ discovered as a potential new cancer treatment Marie Claire DORKING




“There’s something magical about Hamlet’s ability to target tumour cells and kill them,” Professor Catharina Svanborg told Mail on Sunday.

But the discovery came completely by accident while the team was researching antibiotics.

“We were looking for novel antimicrobial agents, and new breast milk is a very good source of these,” professor Svanborg continued. “During one experiment we needed human cells and bacteria to be present, and we chose human tumour cells for practical reasons.”

“To our amazement, when we added this compound of milk, the tumour cells died. It was a totally serendipitous discovery.”


Researchers believe a compound in breast milk could help treat cancer

Researchers believe that a reaction takes place with breast milk when it hits the gut. It produces a protein called alpha-lactalbumin, which targets cancer cells.

The breast milk compound targets cancer cells alone, offering an alternative to chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments, which can damage both healthy and cancerous cells in the body.

The scientists hope the breast milk compound could also help bowel and cervical cancer patients. A trial of the Hamlet substance against a placebo is currently being planned to test the promising benefits of the compound.

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