Saturday, July 10, 2010

News Article: A miracle treatment for cancer discovered in the mouth of the North American shrew

I saw this article online about an interesting potential treatment for cancer. The headline tho' is a bit over the top for such an early stage in the research.  Here's the teaser quote:

A miracle treatment for cancer may have been discovered in a very bizarre place-the mouth of the North American shrew. With its saliva, "we were able to reduce the growth of ovarian, breast and prostate cancer tumours at least as well as standard chemo," says Dr. Jack Stewart, who discovered the cancer-fighting properties of the furry mammal's paralytic venom-which it uses to stun prey-when he was working as a biochemist at Mount Allison University. Now he's the scientific adviser for Soricimed Biopharma, a small New Brunswick pharmaceutical company he founded to get the drug onto the market.

The venom contains soricidin, a peptide, that bonds to a calcium channel that's activated in the human body when cells turn cancerous. It then clogs up the channel, causing the diseased cells to self-destruct. The peptide only targets one chemical, produced by very few cells in the body, so it has almost no side effects, and is also very effective at locating tumours and detecting cancer early. "We attached a fluorescent tag to our drug and injected it into mice. Within two hours the tumours were lighting up."

Source: Tom Henheffer, Open up and say "aah":  A miracle treatment for cancer discovered in the mouth of the North American shrew, from Maclean's Online Magazine, no original date given, Read July 10, 2010

Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD
Promenade Court Dental Health Group in Mississauga
2233 Hurontario St., Mississauga, ON, Canada
(1/2 km north of the QEW in the Dome Building)
(905) 273-7100