The copperhead is found within the eastern coast of North America and the mid-southern states, along the Mississippi River, produce harmful venom when bitten; this can be used to stop the spread of cancer. Contortrostatin is a peptide that comes from the venom of the copperhead snake. In general the venom of the southern copperhead is used by the snake to immobilize prey, keeping blood fluid so that other damaging proteins can spread through the body but when it is purified and used as contortrostatin, it can inhibit the development of new blood vessels to nourish the tumor and by putting the tumor cells into a "paused" state. Remarkably, this drug could help stop breast cancer from spreadging to other organs. Also in a study that was done by Professor Frank Markland of the University of Southern California, this drug not only inhibits the growth of the primary cancer that is already in the breast up to 70-80%. It also inhibits the cancer from spreading to the lungs as well as other organs. Because contortrostatin doesn't kill the cancer cells directly like chemotherapy or radiation, it has none of the harsh side effects. Certifying this medication is going to be a long process. Lastly, the use of snake venom to treat breast cancer is controversial, and venom that has not been purified can be dangerous. Before this drug can be administered to anyone the FDA has to put its seal of approval on it, and at this point the FDA hasn't given any word on the subject. Down the line the FDA does help in a lot of ways with approving other medications, but when it comes to the subject of using snake venom to treat various illnesses they have thwarted researchers in the process.
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