Researchers have claimed to discover a parasite commonly found in cat feces, which can be used to cure cancer.
The researchers are planning to use Toxoplasma gondii to create a cancer vaccine. T. gondii is a single-celled parasite that is found in the intestines of any warm-blooded animal.
One can contract this parasite by eating undercooked, contaminated meat, drinking contaminated water and ingesting it by coming into contact with cat feces containing the parsite.
T. gondii can cause a disease called toxoplasmosis, which can trigger flu-like symptoms and muscle aches and pains. Severe forms of the disease can affect brain, eye or some other organs of the body.
The researches added that the majority of people infected with T. gondii do not show any symptoms.
The latest study is done by David J. Bzik, PhD, and Barbara Fox of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. The researchers said that they were aware of the anti-cancer properties of T. gondii.
They said that when this parasite enters the human body, the human body produces cytotoxic T cells, which fights cancer as a response. The team added that it is to be noted that the immune system of the body can get shut down by cancer but T. gondii actually restart it.
The researchers used this property of T. gondii parasite to create a mutant named "cps". The mutant cannot replicate and it makes "sps" a safe cancer vaccination.
According to Bzik: "Aggressive cancers too often seem like fast moving train wrecks. Cps is the microscopic, but super strong, hero that catches the wayward trains, halts their progression and shrinks them until they disappear."
The researchers are planning to tailor the vaccine as per the needs of each patient. "In translating cps therapy to the clinic, we imagine cps will be introduced into cells isolated from the patient," Bzik explained.