Just a few years ago, researchers claimed that they were on the cusp of discovering how the immune-potent systems of earthworms could possibly serve as anticancer agents. Now, almost a decade later, a group of Polish scientists have discovered in a test that the coelomic (or digestive) fluid present in earthworms which helps them digest food also has certain cancer-killing properties.
The wriggly worms are raised in optimum conditions in a lab. Just like average worms, these worms are also capable of digesting any microorganism, including pathogenic ones. This result was achieved by placing the earthworms in certain conditions and by monitoring their diet for a specific time period. Under these conditions, the fluid was found to kill nearly 75% of the cancerous cells while leaving the healthy cells unscathed. This is a breakthrough discovery which could quite possibly be one of the most significant medical discoveries of the 21st century, especially since there are around 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths that occur in the U.S. alone.
The scientists decided to go further with testing the digestive fluid in earthworms after they had discovered that the fluid was effective in destroying the cancer cells in the system outside the organism. This prompted the scientists to look closer into the possible effects of the digestive fluid. It has taken countless experiments to finally arrive to this stage where animal testing is being suggested after the extraordinary find.
Researchers at the Marie Curie Sklodowska University were able to extract the fluid using 4.5 volts of electricity. The coelomic fluid is then filtered and heated to 70 degrees Celsius before being cooled and stored in a freezer. While the initial experiments killed both the cancer cells as well as the normal ones, after fine tuning the diet and living temperature of the worms, the results were amazing. According to the scientists, the worms have to be fed a diet rich in nutrition such as boiled vegetables and green tea leaves.
To produce the desired results, the worms also need proper temperature and humidity. Only then is it possible to extract the coelomic fluid that’s shown promise in targeting and killing the cancer cells while leaving the normal uninfected cells healthy. While the research has proven to be fruitful, much more research is needed. The group of Polish scientists are now looking to reproduce the same results on a working lung.