An experimental drug that makes use of an ingredient derived from the seeds of a rainforest plant found in Australia is showing promise in treating solid tumors in head, neck and colon cancer models, a new study reveals.
The results of pre-clinical trial conducted by researchers at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane has found that a single dose injection of the drug made from EBC-46, a compound extracted from the fruit of blushwood, leads to rapid breakdown of certain cancerous tumors. The researchers added that the cure was long term in more than 70 percent of the pre-clinical cases and the chances of relapse were very low over a period of 12 months.
The researchers said that while the drug has been used to effectively shrink and destroy tumors in animals including dogs, cats and horses, it is yet to be tested in humans and can be used only on tumors that can be accessed through direct injection or topical application and there is no evidence to suggest that it is effective in treating metastatic cancers. The study has been published in the journal PLOS One.
"In most cases the single injection treatment caused the loss of viability of cancer cells within four hours, and ultimately destroyed the tumors. In more than 70 percent of pre-clinical cases, the response and cure was long-term and enduring, with very little relapse over a period of 12 months. There is no evidence to suggest EBC-46 would be effective against metastatic cancers", lead researcher Dr Glen Boyle said.