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Spider venom could hold key to treating breast cancer

Last Updated: Monday, October 24, 2011 - 13:10

Melbourne: Venom from funnel-web spiders and tarantulas could be used to kill breast cancer cells, Australian researchers say.

University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience will test the arachnid’s ability to combat cancerous cells and hope that the complex mix of molecules in the venom could offer a natural solution to breast cancer treatment.

Dr David Wilson has stockpiled venom from the fangs of up to 10 Fraser Island funnel-webs for the two-year trial.

The team will isolate up to 300 molecules in the venom and expose them to cancer cells to see how they react.

Dr Wilson said spider venom contained molecules that have evolved to perform specific functions over millions of years.

“They are designed to target very specific sites and we are hoping that some of these molecules target cancer cells,” the Herald Sun quoted him as saying.


First Published: Monday, October 24, 2011 - 13:10
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