HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Ancient Chinese folk remedy may hold key to non-toxic cancer treatment

Two bioengineering researchers at the University of Washington have discovered a promising potential treatment for cancer among the ancient arts of Chinese folk medicine.

Research Professor Henry Lai and assistant research Professor Narendra Singh have exploited the chemical properties of a wormwood derivative to target breast cancer cells, with surprisingly effective results. A study in the latest issue of the journal Life Sciences describes how the derivative killed virtually all human breast cancer cells exposed to it within 16 hours.

Not only does it appear to be effective, but its very selective, Lai said. Its highly toxic to the cancer cells, but has a marginal impact on normal breast cells.

The compound, artemisinin, isnt new. It apparently was extracted from the plant Artemesia annua L., commonly known as wormwood, thousands of years ago by the Chinese, who used it to combat malaria. However, the treatment was lost over time. Artemisinin was rediscovered during an archaeological dig in the 1970s that unearthed recipes for ancient medical remedies, and has become widely used in modern Asia and Africa to fight the mosquito-borne disease.

The compound helps control malaria because it reacts with the high iron concentrations found in the malaria parasite. When artemisinin comes into contact with iron, a chemical reaction ensues, spawning charged atoms that chemists call free radicals. The free radicals attack cell membranes, breaking them apart and killing the single-cell parasite.

About seven years ago, Lai began to hypothesize that the process might work with cancer, too.

Cancer cells need a lot of iron to replicate DNA when they divide, Lai explained. As a result, cancer cells have much higher iron concentrations than normal cells. When we began to understand how artemisinin worked, I started wondering if we could use that knowledge to target cancer cells.

Lai devised a potential method and began to look for
'"/>

Contact: Rob Harrill
rharrill@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
26-Nov-2001


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Ancient life form may help create newest technologies
2. Ancient brewery discovered on mountaintop in Peru
3. Ancient Greeks help scientists build environmentally friendly nano devices
4. Ancient DNA mutations permitted humans to adapt to colder climates, UCI researchers find
5. Ancient Inca road in desperate need of protection
6. Ancient DNA analysis unveils mystery of historys most horribly deformed man -- The Elephant Man
7. Ancient pollen yields insight into forest biodiversity
8. Ancient defense mechanism may still be protecting us
9. Ancient flower fossil points to underwater origins
10. Ancient supernova may have triggered eco-catastrophe
11. Ancient reptile is efficient chewer

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/16/2017)... 16, 2017  Genos, a community for personal ... has received Laboratory Accreditation from the College of ... to laboratories that meet stringent requirements around quality, ... processes. "Genos is committed to maintaining ... We,re honored to be receiving CAP accreditation," said ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... 13, 2017 Former 9/11 Commission border counsel ... Janice Kephart of Identity Strategy Partners, LLP, ... Trump,s "Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign ... "As President Trump,s ,Travel Ban, Executive Order ... essentially banned the travel ban, it is important that ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... 8, 2017 About Voice Recognition Biometrics Voice ... it against a stored voiceprint template. Acoustic features ... and tone are compared to distinguish between individual ... as most PCs already have a microphone and ... recognition biometrics are most likely to be deployed ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... Feb. 24, 2017  Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... by its Chairman and CEO, Jim Joyce . ... Security Conference last Saturday, Bill Gates warned ... more people than nuclear weapons. Mr. Gates expressed his ... intelligence agencies, that scientific terrorists have access to the ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Feb. 23, 2017 China Biologic Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... plasma-based biopharmaceutical company in China, today announced its financial results ... Fourth Quarter 2016 Financial Highlights ... by 21.7% in RMB terms, or increased by 13.6% in ... same quarter of 2015. Gross profit increased ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... Discovery Services portfolio to include an array of biochemical analyses critical for ... data to drive their hit-to-lead and SAR programs, including inhibitor potency and selectivity, ...
(Date:2/23/2017)...  Imanis Life Sciences announced today the launch ... viruses for virotherapy research. These viruses are licensed ... vaccinia virus-based technology platform for research use. ... partnership with Genelux to offer researchers, for the ... in research," said Dr. Kah Whye Peng ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: