Chinese Herbal Remedy Set To Tackle Cancer

A group of cancer-fighting compounds derived from a substance used in ancient Chinese medicine will be developed for potential use in humans. The compounds, all developed through the research of University of Washington (UW) scientists Henry Lai, Narendra Singh and Tomikazu Sasaki, make use of a substance known as artemisinin, found in the wormwood plant and used throughout Asia since ancient times to treat malaria. Although the compounds are promising, potential medical applications are still years away, officials say.

The University of Washington will be developing possible treatments in conjunction with Chongqing Holley Holdings, a Chinese company, and Holley Pharmaceuticals, its U.S. subsidiary. “We are very excited about the UW’s discovery and an opportunity to develop an artemisinin-based cancer drug,” Kevin Mak of Holley, said. “The technology is very promising, but it’s in its early stages.”

Researcher Henry Lai said he became interested in artemisinin about 10 years ago. Artemisinin helps control malaria because it reacts with the high iron concentrations found in the single-cell 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 the cell membrane and other molecules, breaking it apart and killing the parasite. Lai wondered if the process might work with cancer, too.

“Cancer cells need a lot of iron to replicate DNA when they divide,” Lai said. “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.” Perhaps the most promising of the methods licensed involves the use of transferrin, to which the researchers bind artemisinin at the molecular level. Transferrin is an iron-carrying protein found in blood, and is transported into cells via transferrin receptors on a cell’s surface. Iron-hungry cancer cells typically have significantly more transferrin receptors on their surface than normal cells, which allows them to take in more of the iron-carrying protein. That, says Lai, is what seems to make the compound so effective. “We call it a Trojan horse because a cancer cell recognizes transferrin as a natural, harmless protein and picks up the tagged compound without knowing that a bomb – artemisinin – is hidden inside.”

Once inside the cancer cell, the iron is released and reacts with the artemisinin. That makes the compound both highly toxic and, because of cancer’s rapacious need for iron, highly selective. Surrounding, healthy cells are essentially undamaged. “Our research in the lab indicated that the artemisinin-tagged transferrin was 34,000 times more effective in selecting and killing the cancer cells than normal cells,” Lai said. “Artemisinin alone is 100 times more effective, so we’ve greatly enhanced the selectivity.”

, ,

Comments are closed.

Wuzhou Guilinggao Chinese Herbal Jelly Powder 梧州龟苓膏粉 10bagsx10g picture

Wuzhou Guilinggao Chinese Herbal Jelly Powder 梧州龟苓膏粉 10bagsx10g

$9.99



白云山红霉素软膏1%*10g 皮肤病溃疡感染寻常痤疮 Bai yun shan Hong mei su ruan gao Chinese herbal picture

白云山红霉素软膏1%*10g 皮肤病溃疡感染寻常痤疮 Bai yun shan Hong mei su ruan gao Chinese herbal

$19.99



【 肠虫清阿苯达唑片10片/盒】 腹胀磨牙儿童成人驱虫药 Chinese Herbal Oral deworming drugs Qu chong picture

【 肠虫清阿苯达唑片10片/盒】 腹胀磨牙儿童成人驱虫药 Chinese Herbal Oral deworming drugs Qu chong

$39.00



chinese Herbal Blend Heba Tea Decrease Blood Sugar青钱柳茶降三高平衡血糖养生调理茶 picture

chinese Herbal Blend Heba Tea Decrease Blood Sugar青钱柳茶降三高平衡血糖养生调理茶

$22.69



NingXia Chinese Wolfberry GoJi Organic Herbal Tea 百瑞源枸杞丨富贵红枸杞子年货礼盒 450g  picture

NingXia Chinese Wolfberry GoJi Organic Herbal Tea 百瑞源枸杞丨富贵红枸杞子年货礼盒 450g

$106.99



Asian Specialty NingXia Chinese Wolfberry GoJi Organic Herbal Tea 中国宁夏枸杞补肾 340g picture

Asian Specialty NingXia Chinese Wolfberry GoJi Organic Herbal Tea 中国宁夏枸杞补肾 340g

$119.99



10 Boxes 莲花 qingwen 清瘟胶囊 Chinese Herbal Natural Remedy Cold Cough48 Capsules picture

10 Boxes 莲花 qingwen 清瘟胶囊 Chinese Herbal Natural Remedy Cold Cough48 Capsules

$109.99



同仁堂白茯苓块280g 白茯苓粉茯苓片茶 Chinese Herbal Tea Poria cocos Nourishing Chinese Herbal  picture

同仁堂白茯苓块280g 白茯苓粉茯苓片茶 Chinese Herbal Tea Poria cocos Nourishing Chinese Herbal

$32.29



30g*30Bag Foot Bath Herb, Foot Soak Herbal Chinese Medicine for Foot Reflexology picture

30g*30Bag Foot Bath Herb, Foot Soak Herbal Chinese Medicine for Foot Reflexology

$35.00



Chinese Speciality Wolfberry GoJi Organic Herbal Tea 500g 宁夏特级枸杞免洗即食 Instant 补气 picture

Chinese Speciality Wolfberry GoJi Organic Herbal Tea 500g 宁夏特级枸杞免洗即食 Instant 补气

$32.00



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes