The automsomal recessive disease of Sickle Cell Anaemia is known as being a serious life debilitating disorder, which has a tendency to affect those where Malaria is rife. It is caused by a single base point mutation in the Beta globin chain at the 6th position of the Haemoglobin molecule where the Glutamic Acid amino acid is replaced with a Valine. This substitution causes the protein chains to precipitate out of the Red Blood Cell and become sickled as a result.
Now this mechanism is thought to be useful in combating cancers. American researchers have used mice to test this theory. In the space of 5 minutes, the sickled cells began to 'stick' to the blood vessels near the de-oxygenated areas of the tumour. These cells deposit a very toxic residue which causes tumour cell death. The researchers are rather hopeful about this breakthrough and hope that it could be directed towards the treatment of breast and prostate cancer, once more trials have been carried out.
So it appears that some diseases which may negatively affect the body, has the ability to be used for the greater good and help to prevent the spread and growth of certain cancers.