Scientists from the Yorkshire Cancer Research Laboratory at York University have found a unique use for the luminous cells of a jellyfish. The green fluorescent protein found in jellyfish makes them glow in the dark could help detect cancers deep within the body.
This protein, found the researchers, can be targeted at cancer cells so that they can be spotted with the help of a special camera. Researchers are hopeful that this could revolutionize the way that certain cancer diagnoses are made in the future.
Early detection is crucial to the treatment of any cancer since treatment can be started early and before the cancer has had time to develop and spread.
The researchers have developed a procedure in which luminous jellyfish proteins are inserted into cancer cells. Then the tissue is illuminated, and a special camera is then able to determine the location of the tumors as they light up.
This process can help a lot of people; particularly those with difficult to detect forms of cancer. X rays are not able to penetrate very deep into tissue so that it may not be possible to detect cancers such as bone cancer using them. This procedure may allow earlier cancer detection to take place.