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UP students finds potential Cancer cure in horn snail 'Bagongon'

Students from the University of the Philippines has discovered potential anti-cancer components from a species of horn snails, locally known as bagongon. In a research published in the journal Acta Medica Philippina , researchers found agent from the snail extracts (Telecopium telescopium) -  a substance that reduces the growth of new blood vessels needed by tumors to grow and metastasize.

According to the authors, one mechanism of growth and spread of cancer cells is through angiogenesis. 

To prevent this process from occurring  and it will not continue to grow - therefore, the use of anti-angiogenic agents has been an advantageous therapy for cancer.

Malignant tumor (cancer) progression involves angiogenesis which is the formation of new blood vessels. Recent studies have focused on finding factors that induce or inhibit this reactions, where the horn snails or locally known as bagongon has a potential source of bioactive compounds having medicinal component.

It is highly abundant in the country and consumed as food by the locals. Antiangiogenic activity was tested using a partially opened fertilized duck egg where the growth of the blood vessels was easily observed. Result showed that after treatment with a certain concentration of Telescopium telescopium extract, blood vessel size and length were reduced significantly.

According to the co-author Sharmine Kae Po when interview by The STAR, she explained that the "research is only an initial step into finding an actual cure or treatment for cancer using extracts from horn snails".

"The studies and trial are needed in order for a cure to be made available to the public," she added.

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