(STUDY FINDS) -- WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Bladder cancer kills roughly 16,000 Americans annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Moreover, it is among the most expensive cancers to treat, and most current treatment methods are invasive and uncomfortable. Patients often must sit constantly for hours while their bladder is filled with a substance intended to kill cancer cells and tumors. However, a team of researchers from Purdue University say they have formulated a new method of bladder cancer treatment, and it involves an ingredient that you probably weren’t expecting: anthrax.
Anthrax often conjures up images of decaying, infected animal carcasses for some, or it may stir fears of biological warfare and terrorist threats for others. But now it may be used to help heal, rather than hurt, incredibly. The study’s authors say they have created a way to combine the anthrax toxin with a specialized growth factor that only targets bladder cancer cells and tumors.
“We have effectively come up with a promising method to kill the cancer cells without harming the normal cells in the bladder,” says associate professor R. Claudio Aguilar, the assistant head of biological sciences in Purdue’s College of Science, in a release. “It is basically like creating a special solution that targets cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone.”
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