The giant keyhole limpet's hemolymph carries a protein that is the essential component of a new cancer vaccine. Keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) carries oxygen in limpet blood. It is an unusually large protein—near virus size—and contains many epitopes, which trigger our body to produce antibodies. When doctors inject KLH into the human bloodstream, it provokes a powerful immune response. If markers for a certain cancer are attached to KLH, the immune system can be stimulated to attack them. Unlike some synthetic alternatives, KLH is nontoxic. Researchers use the protein in cancer vaccines to "break tolerance," says Frank Oakes, the CEO of Stellar Biotechnologies, which grows limpets in a business park for aquaculture next to the Pacific Ocean in Port Hueneme, California. "Your body tolerates the cancer cell because the body believes it is a part of you," he says.
Breaking tolerance can also be used to treat addiction. Down the coast from Stellar's lot, in La Jolla, scientists at Scripps Research Institute used KLH to make a vaccine that cuts out the euphoric effects of a heroin high. In their experiment, researchers gave addicted rats a cocktail of heroin-like molecules attached to KLH. Like the cancer vaccine, the protein provoked an immune response to suppress the high. Later, given the option to self-administer heroin, most rats stopped using the drug. Human trials are under way for a similar KLH-based vaccine to treat addiction to nicotine and cocaine.
KLH is too big and complicated to synthesize, so giant keyhole limpets still offer the best, most stable supply of the protein. Before extraction, Stellar employees move the limpets to tanks indoors. Researchers use a syringe to extract the limpet's blood and then isolate KLH using a centrifuge. It takes about 16 weeks before the mollusk has fully recuperated and is ready for its next extraction. Limpets can also be harvested in the wild, but they die during the extraction process. There aren't enough limpets in the sea to keep up this method.
More than a dozen vaccines that use KLH are in clinical trials, and a treatment for bladder cancer is now approved for use in Europe and Asia. Stellar currently has the capacity to make between one and two kilograms of KLH a year. But if a KLH cancer vaccine is FDA-approved, Oakes says it "will increase demand by orders of magnitude."
What's with the URL: "2011-11/how-mollusk-blood-could-cause-cancer ?! :O"
What's going on with your URL - I agree with above comment. The article is clearly titled how mollusk blood could CURE not CAUSE cancer. You should fix the URL asap.
ok the URL thing is funny but besides that...
Cure cancer and nicotene addiction? To good to be true.
Wow. You all have way too much time on your hands if you noticed the URL is screwy. Although, I admit, it is very humorous, so good catch.
I hope it is true. Then all they need to do is find a cure for obesity and hert disease, then I can live my life like I want to. Eating, smoking, lounging around, doing nothing.
Spoken like a true American! *single tear and sniff*
This article reads of promising and great news of medical science. This is so cool!
Science sees no further than what it can sense.
Religion sees beyond the senses.
Anyone else read Bioshock?
Hopefully this goes through without a hitch, but thats wishful thinking. Im pretty sure if this does go through its gonna be expensive.
so what? ^^ arent the rich people opens the hightech door to the major public ^^
go rich people we are needing you to cure cancer!
PS: happy new year ^^ !!!
bored? lets go mine the stars... ^^
Looks promising. If this pans out, I suppose the only remaining question would be how effectively we can farm the limpets.
So that's another species for the black market and endangered lists then?
I heard new business being born making farms these guys...you get a few acre farm with thousands of these guys work out a good system of harvesting and BAM earning millions over night...especially with the FDA approval....
Just to be clear: Is this a vaccine or a cure or both?
What is the relationship between the KLH role of delivering oxygen and the fact that cancer metabolism depends on sugar for energy instead of oxygen like normal cells. 80 years it was discovered that cancer cells can be converted by depriving them of sugar and bathing them in oxygen.
Enhance oxygen delivery to cells with COQ10.
Stimulate apoptosis with Rosemary, Cayenne extract, Quercetin,COQ10 and Resveratrol.
Most importantly consume anti-inflamatories which include the apoptosis nutrients and many more.
So the hemocyanin will carry a cancer cell (would the cancer cell be harvested from said human or obtained from another source) and be injected into the human so that the body would react, triggering the immune response and creating antibodies that would attack the cancer cells already in place? Or would this be a "vaccine" to provide a decreased risk of developing cancer in a healthy human?
There are a lot of questions that this article does not address...I would be interested in further data, if available.