How a parasitic fish could help us fight brain cancer and stroke

June 9, 2019

A unique study done by scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and The University of Texas-Austin shows how a Lampreys, a parasitic fish that sucks onto other species and drains blood, could potentially help victims of stroke. The intriguing, boneless tooth lined mouth creature contains a molecule in its immune system called variable lymphocyte receptors or VLRs. These researchers/ scientists explain that VLRs have the ability to target the extracellular matrix which would allow drugs to be carried through the brain. As this study is progressing through out different models, its end goal seems to be the same of BXT25. Which the IV injection of BXT25 carries oxygen to the brain to avoid damage, and this molecule in the Lampreys has similar structure already build inside the parasitic fish. Are we able to mimic life saving structure or biological difference between species to help stroke—or even other medical problems we face today?