The Venom Cure
Video: Copperhead Venom and Cancer Research

Professor Frank Markland of the University of Southern California discusses his research investigating whether contortrostatin, a protein found in copperhead snake venom, is effective in attacking cancer cells and preventing their spread in breast cancer patients.

NOTE: Never intentionally provoke a poisonous snake to bite you. This video discusses early-stage medical research, not currently viable options for treatment. If you or someone you know is suffering from cancer, you are strongly urged to seek professional medical care.

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  • charley

    i feel so sorry for that rat but i am glod that. that snake could heip canser.

  • Co

    AWESOME!

  • Keith

    Our neighbors sister had cancer and was terminal so bad she was on hospice. She was bit by a copperhead and now is cancer free.

  • estella

    How did she get bit by that snake? Is it safe to do that? My mom has cancer…she’s in hospice care…i need to find a snake, I’m desperate, i dont want to loose her.

  • Relda

    This is true I am the neighbor of Keith who sister was bit by a copperhead. I will try to explain this in short version. My sister lives in TX was diagnosed with Stage 4 of Sacroma cancer and was on chemo treatments for about two months. They had told her there was nothing more they could do for her and stopped chemo she had also been on hospice for several months. Even with the bad news she had not given up on living. My sister is not one to sit around and feel sorry for herself she was determined to get her lawn cut by herself. She had gone outside to get on her riding lawn mower, thats when she was bit by a copperhead. After her snake bite she only got stronger and stronger and actually was taken off hospice because she was doing so well. I would say that the snake bite froze the spread of the cancer and she did get better; however her six turmors are still there. The snake bite happened around March 08 and just recently is experiencing some growth in one of the tumors. The doctors are possibly looking at doing some radiation. I would like to somehow get a hold of this Frank Markland and maybe have him look at her medical records. Estell as far as it being safe I would say no don’t go out and find a snake if we could get some information from this Frank Markland maybe he could give us some answers. I haven’t had any luck in finding a way to reach him.

  • NATURE Online

    We want to reiterate that you should NOT under any circumstances try to be bitten by any kind of poisonous snake. Please seek the care of a medical professional.

  • Dottie

    I am the sister, Dottie, that was bit by a copperhead snake. The doctors were very amazed that I had got better. The doctors had only given be about two months to live. I did not look for the snake. This is a miracle! I was sitting, very tired and sick. Something told me to look at the lawnmower, It took me along time to walk to the mover and I reached to the tire. At the time that is when the snake bit my finger! I was in ICU for two days. They were concerned on the chemo and the snake venom combination but it worked both ways. It helped not losing my finger and the cancer had froze, or stopped growing. Sarcoma cancer is a very fast growing tumors. I believe it was in God’s hands in helping me with the cancer. I don’t think it was time for God to let me go.

  • Relda

    Yes Dottie this was a miracle. There were a lot of people praying for Dottie and God did answer our prayers who would ever thought in a way of a snake bite but God did intervene.

  • Bonnie

    I am also a sister to Dottie. When Dottie was a bit by the copperhead, she was whisked off to the hospital in an ambulance. They immediately gave her an anti-venom something or other. Obviously, there was still enough venom in her system to stall the growth of this soft-tissue sarcoma.

    I believe Professor Markland is on to something. Please tell us more. Dottie is very willing to be a test case.

  • chantel

    i thinlk that this video was very stupid and a waste of time!!!!

  • CHAD

    I REALLY THINK THE SNAKE IS COOL A GIRL NAME CHEALSE LOOKS JUST LIKE IT

  • Co

    chantel you are wrong it is not stupid or a waste of time

  • Benjamin Lopez

    What I just Saw Was pretty intresting because seeing how something dangerous could help do so much for everyone and I hope that snake hunter doesn’t see them as a threat but something that can do miricale.

  • Kombucha

    I personally knew someone who CURED himself COMPLETELY OF THYROID CANCER using “Kombucha mushroom tea” which is easily obtainable and can be grown in one’s own home as well (also know a lady who cured herself of breast cancer using various herbs). But Kombucha mushroom tea is well known in hollistic circles to have many benefits for maintaining health in not just humans, but also dogs and horses. You won’t hear the benefits of this on the news, doubtfully in any mainstream publication, if you hear about it at all you will hear mostly hysteria about it from the FDA warning people not to use it. In rare cases it is dangerous but only when it has been contaminated by mold. Please, if you have cancer, or not, look up Kombucha mushroom tea and read about it(i recommend happyherbalist com – fyi, I have no affiliation with them).

  • Kombucha

    Many other alternative therapies exist ALREADY for curing cancer, most of them are hollistic, allopathy (standard medicine) uses excedingly toxic methods to kill the cancer cells/tumors, in the process it kills you. The friend of mine I mentioned above inititially had gone the allopathic route and the cancer came back ANYWAY, this after chemo AND after they removed most of the glands on one side of his neck (which removed important functions of the human body). So when it came back the 2nd time, he used the Kombusha tea, a very inexpensive easy and home grown culture, the tumor shrunk over time, eventually completely disappeared (over a 6 month period of time if I remember correctly).

  • Kombucha

    MOST allopathic practice does not address (Treat) the causal level of ailments, more often than not, it addresses ONLY the symptoms, and even worse, such as with cancer, the methods that are used help destroy the natural defenses within your body so it will have an extremely difficult time defending itself from anything else, including any relapses. While it has improved, allopathic methods of treating cancer still have severe long term and short term consequences,and you will likely be told to remain on some expensive drug cocktail for the rest of your life. Don’t be brainwashed into it, seek alternatives, and there are trully affective and REAL alternatives.

  • arthur

    I am praying that this snake venom will work we need it. God said he gave us things to cure us,and these reptiles does not have to die,thats a blessing in it self.

  • jennifer bonner

    this is so horrible for the mouse. i hope that the snake will choke to death.

  • Luis Valdez

    IT IS AMAZING THAT ANIMALS WE FEAR LIKE SNAKES ARE HELPFUL.IN THAT PICTURE THE MOUSE IS THE POOR ONE AND THE SNAKE IS THE EVIL ONE. MILLION S THAT SEE THAT PICTURE FEEL LIKE KILLING THE SNAKE.BUT I WOULDN’T.IT WOULD BE SUICIDE BECAUSE IT MAY BE THE ONLY CURE TO CANCER IN THE NEXT FEW YEASRS OR CENTURIES.I FEEL BAD FOR OTHER ANIMALS TOO.FORR EXAMPLE GILA MONSTER VENOM MAY CURE DIABETES STILL FOLKS DON’T LIKE THEM AND SOME STILL KILL THEM.AND IF ONLY PEOPLE CAN UNDERSTAND GILA MONSERS AND COPPERHEADSMAY BE AS GREAT AS MICE

  • moxie1

    my 1st time here. I’ve got a dear friend in the hospital as i write from a suspected copperhead bite (that’s the suspect for it wasn’t seen)but treating her as so. trust me , do not go looking to get a copperhead to bite somebody. here it is 4 days later and she’s not released yet . the finger that was bitten has shown good results of gaining it’s color back, (her whole finger was black and blue ,now it’s only the 1st joint that’s still discolored) but the whole hand is still swollen . she can’t do a thing but lay up in the hospital .they pumped her up with the standard antivenom, morphine for pain.and antibiotics for the infection. there was all kinds of symptoms, green vomit. flu like symptoms ,chills and sweats, droopy eyes ,etc. etc. if you love some body, please , don’t do this to them. she’s facing some type of death of her tissues on her finger and i’m not so sure what that means exactly. i hoping and been praying that she’s restored with out any lost of permanent flesh.
    from coastal nc
    GOD bless
    moxie1

  • Joel T. La Rocque

    Contortrostatin is a very small protein found in Copperhead venom. It has (so far) Halted the spread of malignant cancer cells, stopped tumor growth, and reversed several solid cancers found in humans. It will be another 20 years before it ever hits the market place because of the trials that must be completed. I find it incredible that one bite halted the cancer but stranger things have happened.
    I have been a Herpetologist working with copperheads for well over 39 years now and it is ironic that the people who love to run over them are now begging for the venom that will extend their lives. The venom itself is destructive to flesh and the pain of being bitten by a copperhead is excruciating to say the least, so I would not recommend getting bitten intentionally. I have been bitten 8 times over the years and am 60 years of age now. I am active, never sick and feel like I am 25. Venom is a wonderful concoction and it does have properties that benefit man. The moral of the story is “don’t kill that snake, it might save your life one day” Best of luck and my prayers are with you.. Joel

  • Louie

    This forum certainly brings out the fact that a lot of people are far removed from reality. Snakes, like every other animal, have to eat. The video was a good educational tool.

    I came to this site because I have prostate cancer. Last spring I experienced a snake bite. I still have bruising in that area just below my knee. I get PSA tests about every 6 months. I am waiting to see if there is any correlation.

  • Joel La Rocque

    I wish everyone here the best but as said by a few others, PLEASE do NOT get bit intentionally be any snake. I have taken over 40 bites from Copperheads in my 40 year career of working with snakes and I can tell you, a Copperhead has the most painful venom of any other North American pit viper. Far from being lethal but the pain in incredible to say the least. If you want to see what a Copperhead snake looks like please go to our Web Site
    http://www.specializedvenoms.com These snakes are quite docile but they are also quick to strike if threatened. Talk with your Doctor before adding any new treatments to your schedule. Joel La Rocque

  • Joel T. La Rocque

    Hello Louie:
    I hope you are doing well and are in remission from this dreadful disease. I would be very interested in knowing what species of snake bite you as well as the time of day and the state you were in when the bite took place. Again, I hope and prey that you will beat this disease and any assistance I can be, please feel free to ask. The best
    Joel La Rocque

  • ali

    i feel bad for Louie. my friend got bitten by a snake before,and i feel bad for her,too.

  • Edward Roach

    As bad as snake bites are there is a use for everything on this planet . Even as scary as black widow spiders are the venom that they produce has it’s uses , even to make the anti venom . Wouldn’t it be funny , with all of the cancer research that is going on today , That the secret to beating cancer lies with one of the scariest animals in the U.S.?

  • Graham Ball

    I live in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Our black and green mambas,(dendroaspis), and boomslangs, are amongst the most venomous in the world. I wonder what medical value there might be in their neurotoxic, haemotoxic and cardiotoxic venoms? I am not aware of any specific research being done on these particular snakes in this country.

  • Gentry D Symonds

    This is an awsomely informitive vewing! I believe that with more research on this subject, man will beat cancer!

  • JOHNNY

    A CURE FOR CANCER IS ON THIS PLANET, THE ONLY PROBLEM IS IF IT IS FOUND, AND IT TURN’S OUT TO BE SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS SNAKE VENOM,IT WILL NEVER BE REVEALED BECAUSE CANCER IS A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR A YEAR MONEY-MAKER..AND DRUG COMPANIE’S WILL NEVER LET IT HAPPEN..IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE THIS,CHECK OUT THE DRUG PRICES IN CANADA COMPARED TO U.S.. I MYSELF THINK THEY HAVE ALREADY FOUND A CURE, BUT IT IS BEING KEPT A SECRET BECAUSE THE GOV.AND DRUG COMPANIE’S WOULD LOSE SO MUCH MONEY..THE SAME IS WITH GAS PRICE’S,SOME TOWEL HEAD IN SAUDI ARABIA IS NOT RUNNING UP THE PRICE OF GAS.AMERICAN’S ARE RUNNING UP GAS PRICE’S,IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE THIS,THEN WHY IS THE GAS THAT IS PUMPED OUT OF U.S. SOIL THE SAME PRICE AS GAS COMING FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE..

  • david

    johnny- just a quick reply about the price of gas. The price of oil pumped out of us soil is the same as the price abroad because the us is a member of OPEC (a union of oil producing nations). If you know anything about how unions work, you will understand why the price is uniform. Our oil is not all government owned… therefore privat land owners want to get top dollar for it and being a member of OPEC helps ensure that happens.

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  • http://www.apple.com Zenia Shelnutt

    Thank you spreading all these handy information. Your post The Venom Cure – Video: Copperhead Venom and Cancer Research | Nature | PBS actually facilitates us a great deal. You should check the post also, should you not agree, you may also keep your thoughts.

  • gary luedke

    I have recently been diagnosed with a malignant tumor in my neck (right side). I will be starting chemo/radiation treatments within the next two weeks. It was diagnosed about 5 months ago and I have had all the preliminary tests done i.e. cat scans, blood tests, kidney tests etc. I just purchased a 30 day supply of rattle snake venom pills that are supposed to enhance my immune system. I haven’t taken any yet but would like to know if there is a reason not to. The seller has been processing and distributing this product for 40 years and has, supposedly, had remarkable results within the cancer treatment arena. If anyone has the email address of Joel T. La Rocque I would like to have it. My address: garyluedke@yahoo.com

  • Kyle

    Wow, some of the comments are so ignorant and stupid that I won’t even bother repeating them here, but I will say that for all you selfish people who don’t give a crap about the environment or what creatures reside in it: this is one of the reasons that we need animals like venomous snakes (besides the fact that they play a critical role in their ecosystems and are beautiful and majestic animals (although they are to be treated with the utmost respect), but that is not of concern to people other than myself and animal enthusiasts). Also, for those people who feel bad for the mouse and think the snake should get hurt… it’s what happens in the wild. Do you think that lions or tigers or any carnivorous animal can just go vegetarian? NO! That’s because their metabolisms are SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED for them to eat what they eat. Humans are no different. Although we can eat an exclusively vegetarian diet, it’s better in general to vary it as much as possible to get the most nutrients in a natural manner without supplements. Also, that’s not the only way we kill animals. If you wear anything made out of leather, that’s a cow you have paid to skin. If you have a dog or cat, there’s meat in their food. House mice and Norwegian rats are invasive species in most of the world since they have spread such vast distances and reproduced so quickly. They spread diseases such as the Black Plague and other deadly ailments; which predators can stop by cutting down the population. When you look at the bigger picture instead of getting all emotional over a natural occurrence, you’ll understand. Act your age, not your shoe size.

  • arnold gallian

    so glad to hear that this research is going on . my wife died of lung cancer that had manastisized to her bones when they found the cancer she had 36 tomers in her bones.. so i know a little about cemo and how distudtive itcan be. venom is local Is it better chance a hole in a womans or breast or cut the whole breast off. i’m a man so i can’t know how devistsating that can be but ido kwow i would rather have a hole in my breast than a masectomy.By the way although i am male i’ve had a mamogram due to a lomp i found in my breast . With a little embarassment that was relieved by the professtionism of my care givers. I was told it was not cancer just a lack of testosterone. Ihave been reseaching venom to use against tumors simce a wolf spider fed of my right leg while i slept for two weeks after i caught the damed thing. I started concidering nicrodic venomfor use against cancer so i say lets try it against breast or pancreatic tumores. keep up the good work and god bless.

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