Researchers at Queen's University in Belfast have discovered a compound in the skin of a frog native to South America, which could be crucial to preventing the growth of cancerous tumours.
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well it seems that another green-skinned member of the natural world may in fact hold a possible cure for some of the planet''s most serious illnesses, BBC Mundo reported on Sunday 12th June.
Scientists at the School of Pharmacy at Queen''s University in Belfast have discovered that a compound found in the skin of the Waxy Monkey Leaf Frog could be used in the treatment of cancerous cells.
In order to grow, tumours need to develop their own blood cells which require oxygen and nutrients to propagate.
If properly employed, the compound found in the skin of the frog species in question could prevent the growth of those blood cells, consequently killing the tumour.
According to Queen''s University professor Christopher Shaw, "this could potentially change cancer from a terminal into a chronic illness."
This latest discovery led to Queen''s University gaining recognition in the 2011 Medical Futures Innovation Awards.
The aim of researchers at Queen''s is, says Shaw, "to make the most of the natural world.
"We are absolutely certain that nature holds the answers to many of our (medical) problems."
Another compound in the skin of the European Fire Bellied Toad was conversely found to stimulate the growth of bloods cells, and could be used in helping patients make a more rapid recovery from injury or after surgery.