A plant with anti-inflammatory properties, which has long been used by traditional Chinese medicine to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, has shown, in an assay with laboratory mice, that it is effective in combating the malignant cells of several pancreatic tumors.
It's about the grass 'Tripterygium wilfordii Hook f. ' -which is also known as'thunder god vine'-, and that has used a group of researchers from the University of Minnesota, in the United States, to design a synthetic derivative that they have named minnelide.
In mice with a pancreatic tumor, minnelide eliminated cancer cells and reduced their ability to spread, increasing the survival time of animals
Scientists have administered minnelide to mice that had been implanted with a pancreatic tumor of human origin and others that had been genetically altered. They observed that minnelide it worked by eliminating the cancer cells and reducing the volume of the mass of the tumors; In addition, the product also reduced the ability of the malignant cells to spread, and increased the survival of the treated mice.
The results of the research are considered very encouraging because the prognosis of pancreatic cancer is very bad and, according to researchers at the Fred Hutchinson cancer center, there have been few advances in the treatment of this cancer in the last 15 years, because what any research that can contribute to developing new drugs is very positive.
The study, which has been published in 'Science Traslational Medicine', is a first step, and now, according to experts, it is necessary to prove the minnelide in larger mammals to confirm if the antitumor effect that has been observed in mice is caused by the potent anti-inflammatory capacity of the 'Trypterygium', And if it is also effective in other animals.