Breast milk is being used to fight cancer after Swedish scientists accidentally discovered it kills cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
Professor Catharina Svanborg, an immunologist at Lund University, says human breast milk contains a protein called alpha-lactalbumin, which is transformed into a cancer-fighting agent when in the gut.
Trials in patients with bladder cancer have already yielded promising results and researchers believe the compound breast milk contains – nicknamed “Hamlet” – will also help tackle bowel cancer and cervical cancer.
Svanborg accidentally made the discovery while working on antibiotics.”We were looking for novel antimicrobial agents, and new breast milk is a very good source of these,” Svanborg said. “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.”A full-scale trial pitting Hamlet against a placebo “dummy drug” is now planned.
Originally appeared at Sunnyskyz.com)