March 26

The icky stuff you see floating on the top of stagnant water may become the latest weapon in spotting cancer cells circulating in a bloodstream.  That’s the bottom line from renowned scientist, Yoshinobu Baba, Ph.D. , and his research with the pond-scum microbe called Euglena.

According to an article from the American Chemical Society, “Baba’s team turned to Euglena in an effort to solve the medical problem of detecting the minute number of cancer cells that break off from the original, or primary, tumor site and travel through the bloodstream. Those cells, termed circulating tumor cells (CTCs), enable cancer to spread, or metastasize, and start growing at distant sites in the body. Metastasis is the main reason why cancer can be such a difficult disease to treat. Detecting those cells would raise a red flag so that doctors could treat or more intensively monitor patients.”

Baba’s novel technique uses Euglena to help detect those minute cancer cells.  It’s an ingenious combination of scientific brilliance and Mother Nature.

For the complete article, with the scientific premise behind the technique, visit the American Chemical Society’s Web site at this link:

Image courtesy of Yoshinobu Baba