Natural sugars can prevent developing cancer, Association for International Cancer Research study says. Scientists discovered that complex natural sugar from the glucose family could block the growth of tumors. The first tests were conducted on mice.
The sugar molecules work by inhibiting hormones tumors send out to make blood vessel grow, which tumors need if they are to develop.
The technique uses a complex natural sugar called heparin, the Clinical Cancer Research journal reported.
During the tests on mice, the sugar molecules were divided and purified before being injected into the mice.
While it is only effective if the cancer is diagnosed early because it does not reduce the size of tumor, researchers said the technique may prove to be an effective treatment when combined with other cancer therapies.
Cancer experts believe a sugar-based treatment could be used to halt tumor growth before it becomes dangerous.
Dr Mark Matfield, scientific consultant of AICR, said: "If someone has cancer, it has often spread so what you may find is that this treatment could be used once the initial tumor has been removed".
However, this research is still at an early stage and it will be essential to develop these sugars further and test their actions in patients, the BBC reports. I.L.