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Newly discovered bacterium could help combat certain types of cancer

Shugeng Cao in his lab.
University of Hawaiʻi News
Shugeng Cao in his lab.

A newly discovered bacterium could help combat certain types of cancer. The discovery was made by Shugeng Cao, a researcher at the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center.

Cao, with help from colleagues at UH and Washington University, discovered a bacterium — Lentzea flaviverrucosa — that produces a peptide called petrichorin A.

This peptide is not only safe for humans — but also active against ovarian and prostate cancers and T-cell leukemia.

The discovery highlights the importance of including petrichorin A in future pharmaceutical research.

In a release, Cao says, “If petrichorin A were developed successfully, people in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific would benefit from our drug therapies.”

Cao currently serves as a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at UH Hilo.

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