UPLB scientists discover potential cure for cancer from bacteria found in Mayon soil samples

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 08 2021 06:37 AM

Mayon Volcano as seen from Brgy. Arimbay in Albay, February 2, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
Mayon Volcano as seen from Brgy. Arimbay in Albay, February 2, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA—A research track by University of the Philippines Los Baños scientists might have yielded a potential cure for cancer from one of the world's most active volcanoes.

According to an article posted on the UPLB website on Tuesday, a microbiology team from the university's College of Arts and Sciences identified 30 bacteria from soil samples found on Mayon volcano in Albay, of which 13 were isolated after they showed antibiotic activity against pathogenic microorganisms.

The team, led by assistant professor Kristel Mae Oliveros, discovered that one of the 13 samples, the bacterial isolate “Streptomyces sp. A1-08,” also exhibited anti-colorectal cancer properties.

Dr. Asuncion Raymundo, one of the team members and Oliveros’ adviser, noted that this stemmed from Oliveros’ initial research on a microbiological study at Mayon, the first such activity done in the area.

According to UPLB, Oliveros produced a community profile of the prokaryotes living in the soils of the volcano. 

"This first study was notable on its own, but the discovery of the bacteria isolates makes it an even more significant contribution," the university said.

Oliveros, however, noted in an interview with Manila Bulletin that further studies must be conducted that Streptomyces sp. A1-08 does produce novel compound bioactive compounds and can be used for chemotherapy.

Her team will publish the study "Genomic Insights into the Antimicrobial and Anticancer Potential of Streptomyces sp. A1-08 Isolated from Volcanic Soils of Mount Mayon Philippines" in this year's December issue of the Philippine Journal of Science, the university said.

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