An antibody found in the blood of sharks could help tackle breast cancer, say researchers.
It is thought that the unique IgNAR antibodies could be used to prevent the growth of cancer cells and research into them could lead to the development of new drugs to fight one of the most common form of the disease, News.com.au reported.
Biologists from the University of Aberdeen have been awarded 345,660 Australian dollars by Scottish cancer research charity the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) to carry out a three-year study.
Their work will focus on two molecules, HER2 and HER3, found on the surface of cancer cells which, when they pair-up, are responsible for signalling cancer cells to grow and divide.
Potentially, IgNAR antibodies could be used to stop these molecules from working and sending the signal.
Dr Helen Dooley who is from the university's School of Biological Sciences and will lead the study sais that IgNAR antibodies are interesting because they bind to targets, such as viruses or parasites, in a very different way to the antibodies found in humans.