Study by DMU researchers shows potential cervical cancer therapy breakthrough using COVID-19 vaccine-related spike protein

Published by Nicole Grundmeier on

By Business Record Staff

In a study led by researchers at Des Moines University Medicine and Health Sciences, the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, integral to COVID-19 vaccines, has shown promise as a novel approach to treating cervical cancer.

This revelation builds upon earlier research at DMU that demonstrated the spike protein’s ability to diminish cancer cell survival rates in prostate cancer. The latest findings demonstrate similar inhibitory effects on cervical cancer cell growth.

The research was spearheaded by Dr. Yujiang Fang – an academic pathologist and associate professor in the microbiology and immunology department at DMU – alongside Dr. Conner Willson, a May 2024 graduate of DMU’s osteopathic medicine program. Researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine also collaborated on the study.

Their findings were published in Anticancer Research, a peer-reviewed scientific journal focused on cancer treatment and prevention research. The research team discovered that the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus can arrest the growth of cervical cancer cells and initiate cellular apoptosis (cell death).

This happens because the spike protein increases the levels of specific molecules in the cells that prevent them from growing and promote their death. In simpler terms, the spike protein may act like a “stop” signal for the cancer cells, preventing them from growing and spreading.

“These findings are important because they suggest that the spike protein might have a role in fighting cancer,” Fang said in a prepared statement. “More research is needed to understand how it works fully and if it can be used as a treatment.”

More information can be found here.

Categories: Health Care