Naked mole rats live cancer-free with special sugar

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

WIRED: Researchers say a complex sugar that prevents cells from clumping into tumors helps the burrowing mammal avoid cancer.

Whether this sugar will be useful as an anticancer agent in humans is unclear. But because it exists in the spaces between cells called the extracellular matrix, “the work underlines the very important regulatory role of [the] extracellular matrix in cancer,” says Bryan Toole, a cancer biologist at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston who was not involved with the study.

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