Bradford: Crocus Flower A New Source Of Anti-Cancer Drug: Research

12 Sep

Scientists believe they have found a way to use an extract from a flower to kill cancer cells.

 

Crocus-based drug designed to treat several kinds of cancer

Crocus-based drug designed to treat several kinds of cancer

Researchers at Bradford University in England have used the Autumn Crocus as a source of a new anti-cancer drug that has no side effects on healthy tissue.

They say it can be used to treat cancer of the breast, prostate, lung and bowel.

The drug, derived from the autumn crocus, is designed to “detonate” and become active only after reaching a target tumour.

It can circulate in the bloodstream, wiping out cancers that have spread while leaving healthy tissue unharmed.

Scientists believe the compound, currently known by the code-name ICT2588, should be effective against all forms of solid tumour.

The healing properties of the Autumn Crocus have been known for centuries, dating back to ancient Egypt and Greece.

A key quality of the plant is its toxicity, an aspect that scientists from the University of Bradford believe they have now harnessed to kill cancer cells.

The team of researchers say they have developed a unique delivery method that means the drug only becomes active in the presence of a chemical emitted by tumours.

This means that unlike existing treatments the therapy does not damage healthy tissue.

In one laboratory study with mice, half the animals were, in effect, cured of cancer after a single treatment.

Scientists said the first human trial could take place within two years at St James’s Hospital in Leeds.

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