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Cancer-resistant Mole Rat May Yield Ultimate Cure Clue

‘We have a clinical goldmine in our hands, and we must dig deeper,’ says lead Israeli researcher proposing that wild blind mole rats replace lab mice

By: Abigail Klein Leichman
Published: November 1st, 2013 in Health » Israel
The cancer-resistant mole rat

Now picture the cancer research lab of the future – white coats, test tubes, and, if Prof. Aaron Avivi at Haifa University has his way — cages of mole rats.

Pioneering studies in Israel appear to demonstrate that the subterranean Israeli blind mole rat,Spalax, is far superior to lab mice for the purpose of cracking the mystery of human cancer.

These wild rodents are extremely resistant to cancer and live 10 times as long as mice, according to Avivi, head of the Laboratory of Subterranean Mammals Biology in the Evolution Institute of Haifa University, and senior researchers Imad Shams, PhD, and Dr. Irena Manov.

Farmers may hate these hairy, sausage-shaped pests that live in underground tunnels, but cancer researchers will learn to love them, Avivi promises.

“We claim that defense mechanisms developed along tens of million years of evolution must necessarily be a better key to solving cancer — and not the cancer-prone, short-lived inbred rat and mouse that are already laboratory products,” Avivi tells ISRAEL21c.

“We truly believe that we have found the potential ‘missing good organism’ that the community of cancer researchers is seeking to progress in our effort to solve cancer in humans.”

Their remarkable longevity and lack of age-related diseases is also being studied by Israeli and other scientists around the world.

Why don’t they get cancer?

Since retired Prof. Eviatar Nevo initiated Spalax research 40 years ago at the Haifa campus, none of the thousands of animals ever developed spontaneous tumours.

To continue reading, click here

Via ISRAEL21c

Related articles: Health News, Mole Rat, Cancer, Israel News, Haifa University
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