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Death Cap Mushroom Poison to Arrest Pancreatic Cancer in Mice, Study Suggests

Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center have coupled the fungal toxin amanitin to an antibody which recognizes a cancer-typical target molecule. Like a guided missile, the antibody carries its poisonous load to target cancer cells. The poison-loaded antibody arrested the growth of various types of cancer cells in the culture dish and even caused the complete disappearance of transplanted pancreatic tumors in experimental mice.

The mere thought of an identification error sends a chill down the spine of any mushroom lover: The death cap mushroom (Amanita phalloides), which resembles the common white button mushroom, contains one of the most deadly poisons found in nature, α-amanitin. This substance kills any cell without exception, whether it be healthy or cancerous.

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