An about 2 mm small tick male. Credit: André Karwath / Flickr

Brazilian researchers have high hopes that a substance found in the saliva of ticks can be used to treat human cancer.

They first began to study a specific compound found in the saliva which acts to make it difficult for blood to clot and thereby easier for the ticks to feed.

But then made the discovery of a molecule found in the saliva of ticks effectively shrinks malignant tumors while leaving healthy normal cells completely unharmed.

They then identified this molecule called Amblyomin-X found within this un-coagulating compound, which further led to the discovery that the molecule effectively kills tumor cells.

And now after several successful trials on mice and rabbits, the researchers are awaiting the go-ahead to proceed with human trials.

Ana Maria Chudzinski-Tavssi at the Butantan Institute in Brazil said; “For conventional chemotherapy also affects healthy cells. But here, after 42 days of treatment, we have not seen it. So the hope is that the side effects will be much less,”


Tick saliva could hold cancer cure: Brazilian scientists