A small group of people in Ecuador suffer from Laron Syndrome, a genetic disorder that makes them shorter than the average person. This syndrome seems to protect them against diabetes and cancer. Of the 100 people only one has died of cancer.
Dr. Jaime Guevara-Aguirre, who has been studying the Laron group for three decades, believes the genetic makeup/ composition of these people could help prevent cancer and diabetes. The goal is to extract the anti-disease properties of Laron syndrome into a medicine.
Laron patients have a defect in the hormone receptor. This receptor is supposed to bind the growth hormone and produce a substance called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). The Laron patients do not have IGF-1 because there is no binding.