Arsenik Has a Potential To Become Leukemia Drug
Health Tips – Arsenic, a favorite poison since Roman times, turns out to have the ability to destroy specific proteins in blood cancer cells or leukemia. Scientists from China are confident that arsenic could be agreat potential to be a cure for cancer in the future.
“Our results show how the arsenic directly goes to the protein target and kill it,” said lead researcher Zhang Xiaowei from State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Shanghai, China.
Another advantage of the arsenic, Zhang added, that it does not cause side effects like chemotherapy. “There are no hair loss effect or bone dysfunction. Therefore we are interested to explore whether arsenic can also be used in other cancer types,” he said.
Arsenic compounds are deadly poison because it has no smell, no taste and soluble in water so it is difficult to detect. Moreover, the symptoms experienced is common with normal digestive disorders, like vomiting, diarrhea and excessive perspiration.
In China, arsenic has two functions, besides as a toxic substances, since thousands of years ago arsenic was also used as part of traditional Chinese medicine.
In 1992, a number of doctors in China reported arsenic can cure 90 percent of acute leukemia. But it was no explained how the arsenic works until later Zhang and his colleagues used modern technology to find out.
In a report published in the Science journal, Dr. Zhang and his team, including the Chinese Health Minister Chen Zhu, explains how sophisticated modern equipment is capable of seeing the work of arsenic in the search for cancer cells.
“This shows how Western technology can be used to open the mysteries of traditional Chinese medicine,” said Zhang.
Although not all doctors in the world recommend the use of arsenic to treat acute leukemia, but, according to Zhang, in China leukemia patient’s life expectancy rate is very high, which reaches five years.