An Indian-origin scientist in the University of Texas Health Science Center, US, has claimed that extract of cork tree can be used in treatment of pancreatic cancer.
In Chinese medicine, Phellodendron amurense or the bark of the Amur cork tree is used as an important herb, basically given as a painkiller.
Pratap Kumar, the study's principal investigator and a professor of urology in the School of Medicine at the Health Science Center, said, "Fibrosis is a process of uncontrolled scarring around a tumour gland. Once you have fibrotic tissue, the drugs cannot get into the cancer."
The extract of Phellodendron amurense can block the development path of the tumour and also checks the scarring process that stops the anti-cancer drugs from entering the cancer. It has also been found to curb enzyme Cox-2 that causes inflammation within the tumours.
Kumar was already working on the potential of cork tree extract in the treatment of prostrate cancer. The extract has been declared safe for use of cancer patients.
At present, the extract is available as a dietary supplement, which is marketed as Nexrutine by Next Pharmaceuticals of Salinas, California. The study was published in journal Clinical Cancer Research.