PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Researchers believe the naked mole rat may be able to help with cancer treatment in humans.

According to CBS News, researchers from the University of Rochester say that they may be able to learn ways to prevent tumors by studying naked mole rats, rather than studying animals that are prone to cancer.

Scientists say during testing they found a gooey substance that they believe prevents the rodent from developing cancer.

Researchers say after the substance, identified as high molecular weight hyaluronan (HMW-HA), was removed from the cells of the mole rat, it was found that the rodent’s cells became more prone to developing tumors.

The biologists also found that the gene that makes HMW-HA, called HAS2, was different from other animals and caused mole rats to have a buildup of HMW-HA in their tissues.

Researchers hope to test and see if HMW-HA will protect mice from cancer and then eventually move on to human cells.

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