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Home News and Update Year 2009 Scorpion Venom Fights Cancer: Study

Scorpion Venom Fights Cancer: Study

A new research has established that a scorpion venom compound called Chlorotoxin, when used jointly with nanoparticles, can help fight various cancers.
A new research has established that a scorpion venom compound called Chlorotoxin, when used jointly with nanoparticles, can help fight various cancers.

The study was initiated by Miqin Zhang and her team of researchers from the University of Washington. The National Institutes of Health, fellowships from the National Cancerdefine Institute and Ford Motor Company helped finance this research study.

According to this research, a small peptide known as Chlorotoxin is present in the scorpion’s venom and can control cancer by 45 percent. But when combined with nanoparticles this rate goes up to 98 percent.

The final substance created helps fight cancer by binding with certain proteins called MMP–2 that multiply through tumors and destroy the cancer's capacity to spread. When Chlorotoxin and MMP–2 come together, they both get sucked in the cancerous cell and thus stop the tumors growth.

“People talk about the treatment being more effective with nanoparticles, but they don't know how much, maybe 5 percent or 10 percent. But 98 percent was quite a surprise to us,” says Professor Zhang.

The study was performed on the cancer cells found in the brain of mice that were grown in the laboratory. The researchers found that cancer cells that contained the combination of Chlorotoxin and nanoparticle did not spread but those containing only one of the either could.

Scientists have been researching on this compound present in the scorpion’s venom for the past decade, but this is the first time any concrete thesis has been made about Chlorotoxin.

Zhang and his team want to further research on mice to establish that their research findings are applicable for all living organisms. Other scientists also are now ready to test Chlorotoxins on humans to find exactly how successfully this compound can uproot the cancer.

The present study has been published the journal Small.

themedguru
18 April 2009
By Pankhuri Kapoor
Washington,USA

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