In recent years, research concerning the effect of various parasite species on cancer has experienced many developments, identifying infections and, subsequently, parasite-produced molecules, which can suppress the growth and metastasis of tumors in various direct or immunity-mediated ways across many types of cancer. Our research has revealed the capability of two tapeworm larvae infections to protect against an aggressive melanoma cell line in the mouse model.
Taenia crassiceps and Mesocestoides corti
These two cyclophyllidean tapeworms make for excellent laboratory models, as their larvae can asexually multiply in the peritoneal cavity of the experimental vertebrate host. They are prolific modulators of the host immune system due to the effect of their excretory-secretory products and other molecules/antigens being exposed. Besides that, T. crassiceps and its products have been shown to abrogate the spread of colon cancer and melanoma while also being used to ameliorate various autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
We study the effects of the tapeworm larvae infection and their excretory-secretory products on the growth and metastasis of various cancer cell lines, such as the B16F10 melanoma, ID8 ovarian carcinoma, and the Hepa 1-6 hepatocarcinoma, while also investigating the effects these products have on various immune cells, both in the mouse model and in vitro.