They are celebrating test results obtained by means of a toxin which kills cancerigenous cells. The substance found in the poison of the rattlesnake helped control the illness in laboratory rats.
Rattlesnakes are famous for their powerful poison. However, researchers from the Butantan Institute in São Paulo have discovered that one of the components of the poison can also help cure skin cancer.
it enters into in cells quickly. Furthermore, in tests performed with lab rats researchers have noticed the crotamin prefers fast-dividing cells, as of the melanoma type, known as skin cancer.
“The melanoma is a fast growing cancer; also, a very aggressive type – the one which causes quick methastasis.", declares Irina Kerkis, director of the Laboratory of Genetics of the Butantan Institute.
The images on microscope (see video) show spots of stronger color which are the cancerigenous cells where the crotamin diffused into.
In addition, the toxin in the poison of the rattlesnake kills the cancerigenous cells. For the time being, the research is only in its tests phase. The lab rats with skin cancer which underwent treatment with the toxin for 21 days survived. The ones without treatment died after some 40 days. Moreover, the rats under treatment had either a drastic reduction in the size of the tumour or were cured.
“The crotamin virtually bypasses all issues that appear in the development of a anti-cancerigenous drug ", states Ms. Kerkis.
Results have been so overwhelming that researchers have already head-started investigations towards treatment toxin-based treatments to other more aggressive types of cancer, such as breast and lung cancers. The crotamin hardly ever causes allergy and does not affect healthy cells of the body.
Such toxin may shortly be synthetically produced, according to researchers, cutting out the need of rattlesnake poison use.
Another venomous animal also targeted by the researchers from the Butantan Institute is carrapato (tick). From the gland that produces the saliva of the carrapato they have lab-developed the Amblyomin-x, a protein that kills cancerigenous cells. Research is likewise at test phase in animals.
Source: Globo Videos