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Toxin Ricin, the Plant in Cancer therapy

Updated on December 21, 2013

Castorbean plant is a oil producing plant usually cultivated in Africa.The oil can be used for burning lamps and is extracted from the seeds. The stem of this plant contain a highly toxic chemical called Ricin which causes even death on consumption. But now it is revealed that this toxin can be useful in new cancer treatment.

If inhaled injected or ingested ricin act as a poison by interrupting protein synthesis and is a protein toxin which have two chains,rcin A having 267 amino acid chains and ricin B having 262 amino acid chains.There is no known antidot for this toxin, the affected suffer from severe diarrhea and may also die.But the seeds or oil of castorbean does not contain this toxin. Ricin is present only in stem.

This is also used as a biological weapon in war-fields after processing. Though it is not harmful as other bio-weapons countries such as US , Canada, and soviet union had made many researches in this field to weaponize ricin and had used them in cluster bombs and bullets.

As per recent studies doctors have developed new measures to use the destructive powers of ricin in killing the cancer cells with out any lethal effect and also with out any side effects.By joining ricin with protiens bindinglymphoma cells cancer cell can be destructed.

The experimental use of this has been not a complete success , the patients who undergone is found to be affected by 'Vascular leak syndrome'. But still the scientiss are optimistic that they will genitically modify ricin in such a way that it will have no side effects on human but still be lethal to cancer cells.

How ever lets hope for a great turning point in Cancer therapy in near future especially for lung cancer treatment prostrate cancer treatment and breast cancer treatments.


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