Researchers at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah have been studying cancer for years, and they may have seen the light at the end of the tunnel in our long fight to eradicate cancer.
Every single person on Earth knows someone who this dreaded disease has attacked and while we have made great strides in prolonging cancer from stealing our loved ones far too early, the fight is far from over.
Dr. Joshua Schiffman and his team at Huntsman are enthusiastic that they may have discovered the key for the cure and finally winning the war with Cancer, in a synthetic elephant protein.
The team discovered this synthetic elephant protein actually attacks human cancer cells. "It is remarkable. The lab is just so excited,” Schiffman said.
Because elephants rarely get cancer Schiffman's team decided to study the blood of elephants from the Barnum and Bailey Circus and Hogle Zoo.
The discovered a protein, called P-53, which shows some very exciting potential to Schiffman in a battle that is very personal for him.
As an oncologist, he treats children with cancer, and the doctor himself was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 15.
This personal experience pushed him to do what he does today and he gets more and more excited when reading the latest batch of test results.
But what gets the Doctor even more motivated is watching video of the elephant protein attacking and destroying the human cancer cells.
"And I watch those videos of those cells dying every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to bed because this, for us, this is our inspiration,” Schiffman said.
The team at Huntsman is now working with a lab in Israel to synthesize the elephant protein with the aim of starting animal test. If all goes as planned, they could start human testing in about three years.
While there’s no guarantee that the protein will work in humans, Schiffman says he and his team will continue working long hours to give it the best possible chance.
"We say that cancer doesn't sleep, and neither should we,” Schiffman said.