Preliminary studies have shown that some proteins extracted from the embryos of zebrafish, a particular type of fish, are able to block the multiplication of cancer cells. This study seeks to examine the biological properties of these proteins.
During the formation of the organs in the embryo, stem cells secrete a rich serum of particular proteins capable of inducing the differentiation of the tissues. Thanks to this serum, stem cells, which originally are all equal to each other, begin to differentiate, between one and the other, and specialize according to the different functions of the organs. This is a very delicate phase during which the risk of mistakes is very high. An error may lead to the onset of a tumor. For this reason the proteins contained in embryonic serum are able to intercept errors that occur during multiplication. If the errors are repairable these proteins are involved, and they correct them, and the cells continue their natural course. If instead it is unable to correct the mistake these proteins are able to kill compromised cells. In this way it prevents the tumors from developing.
The cells of the teratocarcinoma, leukemia, and cancer of the adrenal glands for example differ in normal cells when placed in an embryonic microenvironment.
These studies suggest that the proteins extracted from the embryo of zebrafish have specific anticancer properties. We speak of differentiating therapy. This has been seen both by the transplanting of tumor cells in an embryo as well as in the treatment of in vitro cultures of cancer cells with the stem’s factors of differentiation. This scientific work has specifically worked on tumor cells in the colon.