ANTHRAX DOES A BODY GOOD? Anthrax is showing promise as a cancer treatment. Researchers at the National Institute of Health have used a genetically engineered version of the anthrax toxin to kill tumors in mice. The scientists found that:
After only one treatment, the toxin reduced tumor size 65-92%. Two treatments completely abolished 88% of fibrosarcomas and 17% of melanomas. Tumor cells began dying just 12 hours after the first treatment. The toxin did not damage skin cells or hair follicles surrounding the tumor, suggesting that the toxin is highly selective for tumors and might not have the severe side effects associated with other cancer treatments.In the fall of 2001, a New England Journal of Medicine study showed that "bacterial toxins caused complete remission in 11 out of 16 leukemia patients who had been resistant to standard chemotherapy," ABC reports.