It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Snake Venom and Breast Cancer

page: 1

log in


posted on Mar, 27 2006 @ 05:21 AM
I happened to be channel surfing just now and came across a rather interesting program. USC is working on a new treatment for breast cancer using proteins in Copperhead snake venom.

In studies with mice implanted with human breast cancer cells, a 60 to 70 per cent reduction in the growth rate of the breast tumours and a 90 per cent reduction of tumours that spread to the lungs was found in rodents treated with the protein. However, it will take at least 18 months before the venom protein will be ready to test on patients.

"We have a long way to go from mice to the female of the human species," Prof Markland told colleagues in Boston, at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. He said: "We are in the process of genetically engineering the venom. We would have to milk every snake in the world to get the venom we would need for a trial."

Earlier this year there was great excitement about the efforts to block a process called angiogenesis, the development of new blood vessels, which is exploited by a tumour to obtain a supply of nutrients and growth factors, a disposal route for its wastes, and a route for cancerous cells to spread.

The copperhead protein acts by inhibiting the development of new blood vessels to nourish the tumours and by putting tumour cells into a "suspended state of animation". Prof Markland said the dual action helped prevent the spread of cancer, a process called metastasis.

While this could be great news for breast cancer sufferers, my question is this....

Why is it that we have National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and so much money being put into Breast Cancer research, but Prostate Cancer is almost a dirty word, and doesn't seem to get nearly the attention or effort put into it? That's something that has always bothered me.


log in