Front Page

UK

World

Business

Sci/Tech

Sport

Despatches

World Summary


On Air

Cantonese

Talking Point

Feedback

Low Graphics

Help

Site Map

Sunday, February 1, 1998 Published at 16:35 GMT



Sci/Tech

Microbe's anti-cancer potential
image: [ Scientists hope a genetically altered microbe could be a successful cancer drug ]
Scientists hope a genetically altered microbe could be a successful cancer drug

A new generation of anti-cancer drugs may soon be available, according to scientists.

The agent Curacin A is found in a tiny sea organism first identified four years ago.

It is known to have anti-cancer properties but is highly unstable, making it unsuitable as a treatment.

Professor John Mann, from Reading University, Berkshire, is leading a research team trying to make Curacin A a viable cancer treatment.

He said: "Curacin A is a very simple molecular structure and can in principle be made in the laboratory."

His team is trying to reproduce natural Curacin A, found in the marine bug cyanobacterium, in laboratory conditions.

Professor Mann said: "We hope to make the agent water soluble, an important characteristic if it is to be used as a cancer treatment.

"Because of its simplicity, making therapeutic versions of the agent would not be unduly expensive.

"If we are successful it will be relatively cheap to produce and could become an additional part of the armoury in cancer therapy."
 





Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage

©

[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  Relevant Stories

31 Dec 97 | Sci/Tech
New 'tumour freezing' treatment gives some hope for cancer sufferers

07 Dec 97 | Sci/Tech
Music can seriously improve your health

26 Nov 97 | Sci/Tech
Tumour starvation hope for cancer

14 Nov 97 | Despatches
Cancer could be made to self destruct

14 Nov 97 | Sci/Tech
New hope for cancer treatment

 
  Internet Links

Reading University Chemistry Department

Association for International Cancer Research


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.