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Tags: death | cap | mushroom | toxin | cancer | pancreatic | tumor

Mushroom Toxin Fights Cancer

Wednesday, 04 April 2012 12:22 PM EDT

Pancreatic cancer patients may have a new ally. Scientists have found the poison that makes the death cap mushroom so deadly has the ability to destroy pancreatic cancer tumors in mice.
German researchers, reporting in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, said they have developed a technique for using the fungal toxin amanitin to target cancer without harming the body’s healthy tissues.
The study, led by German Cancer Research Center and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, found a single amanitin-based treatment halted the growth of tumors in mice with transplanted human pancreatic cancer. Two injections of higher doses caused the tumors to regress in 90 percent of the animals. The treatments did not cause any poison-related damage.
"Even at high doses we have not detected any organ damage in the animals. We therefore expect that there is a sufficient therapeutic window for a dosage that kills cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue unaffected," researchers said.
Researchers suggested future studies will determine if the treatment will also work against other cancers – such leukemia, lymphoma, breast and ovarian cancers, bile duct carcinomas and tumors of the head and neck.

© HealthDay

The toxin in the death cap mushroom may become a potent new weapon against pancreatic cancer.
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 12:22 PM
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