Monday, September 12, 2011

Crocus drug that can kill tumours in one treatment with minimal side effects - 12th Sept 2011

A drug derived from plant extracts could wipe out tumours in a single treatment with minimal side effects, according to research.

Scientists have turned a chemical found in crocuses into a ‘smart bomb’ that targets cancerous tumours.

Crucially, healthy tissue is unharmed, reducing the odds of debilitating side effects.

And unlike other side effect-free drugs, it is able to kill off more than one type of the disease, including breast, prostate, lung and bowel cancer.

Potentially, all solid tumours could be vulnerable to drugs developed this way, meaning it could be used against all but blood cancers.

In some tests of the drug, half of tumours vanished completely after a single injection, the British Science Festival will hear this week.

The drug, based on colchicine, an extract from the autumn crocus, is at an early stage of development, and has so far been tested only on mice.

But the University of Bradford researchers are optimistic about its potential in humans. Read More