Snake Venom: A Potent Anticancer Agent


Since cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and there is an urgent need to find bettertreatment. In recent years remarkable progress has been made towards the understanding of proposed hallmarksof cancer development and treatment. Treatment modalities comprise radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy,immunotherapy and hormonal therapy. Currently, the use of chemotherapeutics remains the predominant optionfor clinical control. However, one of the major problems with successful cancer therapy using chemotherapeuticsis that patients often do not respond or eventually develop resistance after initial treatment. This has led to theincreased use of anticancer drugs developed from natural resources. The biodiversity of venoms and toxins makesthem a unique source from which novel therapeutics may be developed. In this review, the anticancer potentialof snake venom is discussed. Some of the included molecules are under clinical trial and may find applicationfor anticancer drug development in the near future.