Rattlesnake venom may fight cancer

Rattlesnake venom may fight cancer
Venom doesn't appear to kill cancer cells but instead causes them not to disperse through the body.

GREELEY, CO (KUSA) - Most of us try to avoid this reptile at all costs.

One biologist in Colorado, however, is studying how snakes can help fight deadly diseases.

Stephen Mackessy spent decades studying rattlesnake at the University of Northern Colorado.

His current research focuses on their venom.

“We began working with several rattlesnakes to isolate a particular small compound from the venom that doesn't kill cancer cells but instead causes them not to disperse, metastasize through the body.”

Cancers can become particularly dangerous as they spread through away from a tumor site and then spread throughout the body.

Mackessy’s passion for research stems from a childhood experience from snakes, click here for details.

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