Crocus secretion: New hope in fight against cancer?
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Crocus secretion: New hope in fight against cancer?

Bradford : United Kingdom | Sep 17, 2011 at 2:41 AM PDT
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In search of more effective cancer treatments, researchers now have the healing power of Spring Crocus' discovered for themselves. Initial tests have hope for a completely new, targeted against the disease.

Scientists from the University of Bradford put hope on a new therapy that could prove to be smart weapon against cancer. The healing secretion is thereby obtained from the spring crocus and used very specifically to tumors, the team announced on the British science festival in Bradford. Accordingly, the treatment reduced the growth of various cancer cells and kills some of them completely off, as experiments with mice show.

Originally from the UK coming spring crocuses were due to its chemical Colchicine (toxic alkaloid) on the part of science have long attributed healing powers. But so far the research had to contend with the fact that colchicine highly toxic - and is also harmful to healthy tissue. For this reason, the agent administered in very small quantities. British researchers have now managed to change the colchicine molecule so that it becomes active only when it reaches the tumor.

See also: Plant ingredient reduces mortality from breast cancer

This was made possible by a protein that coats the colchicine and thereby prevents the attack of healthy tissue. Tumors produce enzymes whose function is actually to kill the normal cells, so that the tumor can grow unimpeded. And exactly these enzymes attack the protein at the colchicine molecule. This will enable the distribution of colchicine and the chemical breaks only on the blood vessels that supply the tumor - and let him thus "starving".

Half of the mice was cured of cancer

"The drug is so effective because it only attacks the tumor from healthy tissue but can not hurt anything," said Professor Patterson of the University of Bradford to 'bbc.co.uk'. Because the enzyme that produces the toxic colchicine, can be resolved only by tumors, which offer a way to treat cancer more effectively, without the body has to deal with nasty side effects.

Preclinical tests in mice have been shown surprisingly successful results. "We just wanted to get a delay of growth," said Professor Patterson. "But the treatment was sometimes so effective that half of the treated mice was actually cured of cancer." Even one dose of colchicine caused this remarkable effect.

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Crocus secretion: New hope in fight against cancer?
Maroof Kamboh is based in Karāchi, Sind, Pakistan, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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