A cup of hot tea may be soothing. However, association was previously found between hot tea and occurrence of esophageal cancer (EC), which was evaluated again in a new 10-year study of 50,045 people aged 40–75 years in Golestan of northeastern Iran. Research showed that, compared to the people who drink less tea at a lower temperature, tea drinkers who consumed more than 700 ml of hot tea at over 60°C had 90% higher risk of EC. As the 8th most common cancer in the world, EC kills about 400,000 people yearly and is typically caused by repeated injury to the esophagus, the long tube that processes swallowed food and liquids to the stomach.
A study done by Zhang et al. screened a Ph.D.-12™ Phage Display Peptide Library and identified two novel polypeptide ligands that bind strongly to EC cells (Eca109) vs. normal esophageal epithelial cells. Further validated via ELISA, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry assays, these two isolated polypeptides point to great potentials for early EC screening with clinical significance. Future studies should include characterization of their biological effects and potential applications as cell-targeted cancer therapies.
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