Breakthrough: Targeting cancer cells using an armed malaria protein


History has borne witness to numerous innovations and discoveries by scientists that were created or discovered accidentally. Danish scientists at the University of Copenhagen and the University of British Columbia (UBC) may have accidentally stumbled on to a discovery that could possibly be a game changer in the fight against cancer. The Danish researchers were aiming to find a way of protecting pregnant women from malaria, which can cause huge problems because it attacks the placenta. That is when Prof. Ali Salanti from UCPH in collaboration with Mads Daugaard from UBC in Canada, revealed that the carbohydrate that the malaria parasite attaches itself to in the placenta in pregnant women is identical to a carbohydrate found in cancer cells.