Cancer-causing parasite 'can save lives' of diabetics | 1 NEWS NOW


Carcinogenic liver parasites may sound like a nightmare to the patient, but researchers in Queensland believe the proteins in them could "overload" the healing of chronic wounds.

They hope their "revolutionary" discovery will save the lives and livelihoods of diabetics.

"Every day 12 Australian diabetics have a limb amputated because of a chronic wound. Globally, it's one every 30 seconds," said James Cook of James Cook University.

The trend of stubborn inflammation and poor circulation inhibits the bodies of diabetics from closing wounds and fighting infection, and currently there are no medicinal treatments available to treat chronic wounds in Australia.

"If a diabetic suffers an amputation, they have a five-year survival of only 50%, so it's absolutely critical that those wounds heal before they reach that point," Smout told AAP.

Dr Smout said there is a drug available internationally, but it has limited success – only a two-fold chance of improving cure by 22%.

He hopes the drug his team is working on can improve a lot – his tests on mice showed a 43% improvement in wound healing.

The research team "ironically" discovered the healing powers of Southeast Asian liver fever trying to kill her with a vaccine.

Chance, most prevalent in Thailand, is usually contracted from raw or raw fish and infests the liver, often leading to cancer of the bile duct.

They decided to steal the worm's secret trick and redesign the parasite's granular protein into smaller, simpler molecules to be used in a topical cream.

Researchers have only tested the cream on mice so far, but hope to get funding to conduct a small-scale human test and then mass-produce the life-saving drug.


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