Viper venom may help fight cancer: study

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 December, 2011, 12:00am


Venom from a Chinese viper may help produce a drug that can dramatically shrink tumours in a range of cancers, researchers say.

In a study, Baptist University researchers found that a protein, known as ZK002, from the sharp-nosed viper can reduce certain tumours in mice.

The viper has powerful venom and is found on the mainland. It has long been used in Chinese medicine to treat skin allergies.

In a separate study, researchers at the drug company Lee's Pharmaceutical found that the protein could reduce the growth of capillaries in chicken embryos.

That could make it effective against cancerous tumours.