Frog Skin Could Become a Cancer Drug
Scientists from Queen’s University Belfast has won a award for their study of frog skin that can become drugs for 70 major diseases. The researchers won the Medical Futures Innovation Awards in London on June 6, 2011.
The study led by Professor Chris Shaw from Queen’s School of Pharmacy has identified two types of proteins that can regulate how the blood vessels can grow.
The research team found that the protein obtained from Waxy monkey frogs could inhibit the growth of blood vessels and can be used to kill cancerous tumor cells.
“Stopping the blood vessels that supply the food will make a tumor become smaller, thereby reducing the chance that it will spread, and can kill the tumor. This could be the potential to transform cancer from a terminal disease into a chronic condition,” said Prof. Shaw, according to BBC News.
Prof Shaw said that the tumor can only grow to a certain size before it needs the help of blood vessels to grow and give it oxygen and other essential nutrients.
In addition, the research team also found that firebellied giant frog produce proteins that can stimulate the growth of blood vessels and help patients to recover from injury and surgery more quickly.
“It has the potential to treat various diseases and other conditions that require quick repair of blood vessels, such as wound healing, organ transplant, diabetes, injuries and damage caused by stroke or heart conditions,” he said.
Meanwhile Proesor Brian Walker and Dr. Tianbao Chen said that many great discoveries which are very innovative and interesting have been initiated by Professor Shaw. This innovation is an early stage and require further work to be brought into clinical therapy.