Preparation from earthworms can help develop a drug for lung cancer

A preparation of coelomic fluid obtained from earthworms, which can be used in the development of a drug for lung cancer, has been obtained by scientists from two Lublin universities. The invention has already been patented.

Researchers from the Maria Curie-Sklodowska University and the Medical University of Lublin wsp lnie developed a preparation from coelomic fluid obtained from earthworms, which ry – in in vitro studies – destroys com rks of lung cancer in 80 percent, while having no toxic effect on the com rki normal.

The preparation will undergo further testing, which re will indicate whether it can be used to develop a drug. – We are at the end of the first stage of research on com rkach, who re are cultured outside the organism. The next stage, kt ry awaits us is to study the impact of these preparations on the body of laboratory animals. The third stage involves its administration into the human body – explains prof. Jolanta Rzymowska of the Department of Biology with Genetics at the Medical University of Lublin.

The professor stressed that only after all the tests had been carried out, depending on the outcome of the tests can be m n talk about the possible clinical application of the invented specific.

The toxic effect of the fluid, obtained from the body cavity of earthworms, has already been described by scientists. As Dr. hab said. Marta Fiołka from the Department of Immunobiology of the Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, it is known from publications that this fluid is highly toxic, causing, among other things, the disintegration of red blood cells in a few minutes. The same toxic effect on com rks of lung cancer A549 and normal com rks of bronchial epithelium. – We decided to look for conditions in which rych we will be able to eliminate cytotoxicity on com rki normal, and at the same time preserve as much as possible the anti-cancer activity,” she pointed out.

Dr. Fiolka said this was achieved after the liquid was properly heated and the right concentration of protein was obtained in this preparation. Mechanism of selective action of coelomatous fluid – toxic effect on the com rk cancerous and non-toxic per com rki correct – is the subject of further research.

The coelomic fluid is obtained by subjecting the earthworm to kr tic electric shock with a current of 4.5 V. As Dr. Fiolka explains, it’s a weak electric shock, as the earthworm survives it by ejecting the coelomic fluid along with the com rkami with blood, through holes located on the side of the earthworm’s body. The cells are then separated by centrifugation, and the coelomic fluid is filtered through bacteriological filters to remove possible microorganisms. The fluid thus isolated is properly heated to eliminate the toxic effect on the com rki normal. The concentration of protein in it is determined, and such a preparation is used for further studies. From one individual it is possible to obtain approx. 100 microliter in the coelomic fluid. – These are very small amounts – noted Fiolka.

The researchers stress that at this stage of the research it is too early to determine how much such fluid would be needed to produce the drug. It is not yet known, for example., in what concentrations the fluid will be effective in laboratory animal studies. Scientists co hey are working with an agro-industrial company from Slupsk to obtain a large number of earthworms, which re would provide sufficient amounts of coelomic fluid for further experiments.

It is unclear how long further studies may take. – Our enthusiasm pushes us to do more research, although it must be moderate, for the reason that at this stage it cannot yet be said that it will be a therapeutic preparation. This is the preliminary phase of laboratory research,” stresses Prof. Rzymowska.

The invention of Lublin scientists has been patented by the Polish Patent Office under the name of „Coelomic fluid of the earthworm Dendrobaena veneta to be used in the treatment of lung cancer”, a tw he inventors of the invention are Ph. Marta Fiołka of Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin and Prof. Dr. hab. Jolanta Rzymowska and Dr. Przemyslaw Kolodziej of the Medical University of Lublin.

Source background: PAP – Science in Poland, fot. CC BY 3.0/Rob Hille/Wikimedia Commons