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Posts Tagged ‘milk donation’

HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made LEthal to Tumour cells), was discovered in breastmilk several years ago, but it is only recently been possible to test it on humans.  In 1999, I went to the La Leche League International conference in Washington DC and heard the primary researcher, Anders Håkansson MD PhD, talk about his findings.  They put cancer cells in a dish with breastmilk and they all died, all of them, everytype of cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, etc.  When they put healthy cells in the breastmilk they just grew, and were happy.  The breastmilk told the unhealthy cancer cells, who were growing uncontrollably to stop/die.  They died by a process called apoptosis, or programed cell death, like the dry/dead layer of skin on our bodies.  There is something in the DNA of the cell that tells it when it is done–to shrivle up and die.   The other kind of cell death is necrosis.  When cells die of necrosis, they explode – like when cells are killed by an antibiotic, or by chemotherapy.  So the cells that died in the breastmilk were told to quit–stop dividing uncontrollably. We were all jumping out of our seats as we listened to him and asked how soon this would be used in cancer treatment.  He said he didn’t know and because he was a researcher it was not his job.  He passed this information along to the people who do clinical trials– tests and then put a treatment into use.  He said it ought to be soon as breastmilk is so safe–after all we feed it in large quantities to our babies!

Until recently, no one that I have ever talked to in the oncology field have even heard of this yet!  I do know people who have used breast milk to help treat their cancer.  Often they do it as a last ditch teatment when the other therapies are no longer effective.

Click this link to go to the news release from researchers at the University of Gothenburg who are focusing on how HAMLET can be taken up into tumour cells.

http://www.science.gu.se/english/News/News_detail/?contentId=930092&disableRedirect=true&languageId=100001&returnUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.science.gu.se%2Faktuellt%2Fnyheter%2FNyheter%2BDetalj

Also see this link for the original link from Discover Magazine in 1999:  http://discovermagazine.com/1999/jun/featcancer

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Great short video on premature babies and donating human milk.
Jane

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