leopard sharkSARASOTA (USA)- Can sharks’ immune systems block human cancer cells? Some researchers at a Florida marine laboratory think so.

Dr. Carl Luer is one of America’s foremost leaders in this subject. He and his team of researchers at mote marine laboratory say sharks could potentially save millions of lives. The fish may have the secret to curing cancer. Luer said it’s long been known that sharks rarely get sick.

Immune systems
“Sharks have a low incidence of disease in general and what’s interesting is they have a low incidence of cancer,” Luer said to WHDH.com. He says the fish have incredibly powerful immune systems.
“We’ve tried to give them cancer and we’ve not been able to do that.” So he removed cells from the immune system of a bonnet head shark and took it to a lab.

He learned it secreted a compound that blocked the growth of human cancer cells.”We want to be able to get to the point where we can understand what these compounds are so we can move into animal studies,” he said. Luer wants to replicate these compounds in a lab, so future researchers won’t have to rely on wild bonnet head sharks.

He says trials on humans could be years away, but this research holds a lot of promise.”There’s potential for improved therapies for certain types of cancer that respond well to our compounds, and there’s also the potential to develop new antibiotics.”

Let’s hope that research will not lead to killing more sharks.

See the full news item and video at 7 News WHDH.com.