An enzyme that releases a contentment hormone in the body after sex is being studied by researchers in Australia who are searching for a treatment for lung cancer.
Lead researcher Professor Chris Easton and PhD student Ms Lucy Cao from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology at ANU are studying the enzyme, known as PAM, that releases a number of peptide hormones, including oxytocin, also known as "love hormone", and calcitonin that promotes cell proliferation.
The researchers found that higher levels of calcitonin among those affected by small cell lung cancer had lower survival chances. The researchers have developed chemicals in order to reduce the calcitonin levels and found that they were successful.
"Increased levels of calcitonin are correlated with poor survival rates in small-cell lung cancer patients. So we are working to reduce the levels of calcitonin, particularly through controlling the activity of the PAM enzyme", Ms Cao said.