Traditional methods of cancer treatment are losing popularity. Not only because of the intense side effects of radiation and chemotherapy treatments, but because of the increasing amount of research supporting natural alternatives.
According to studies published in Life Sciences, Cancer Letters and Anticancer Drugs, artemesinin, a derivative of the wormwood plant commonly used in Chinese medicine, can kill off cancer cells, and do it at a rate of 12,000 cancer cells for every healthy cell. Henry Lai and his team of researchers from the University of Washington synthesized the compound, which uses a cancer cells appetite for iron to make them the target. The great thing about artemisinin is that alone it can selectively kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.
Lai says, “By itself, artemisinin is about 100 times more selective in killing cancer cells as opposed to normal cells. Artemisinin is 34,000 times more potent in killing the cancer cells as opposed to their normal cousins. So the tagging process appears to have greatly increased the potency of artemisinin’s cancer-killing properties. We call it a Trojan horse because the cancer cell recognizes transferrin as a natural, harmless protein. So the cell picks up the compound without knowing that a bomb (artemisinin) is hidden inside.”
Wormwood was actually originally used centuries ago in China for it’s healing properties, but the usage of worm wood more or less got lost over the years. It was just recently discovered to be referenced in an ancient medical text describing remedies. According to the University of Washington’s article about the new compound: “The compound is currently being licensed by the University of Washington to Artemisia Biomedical Inc., a company that Lai, Sasaki and Narendra Singh, UW associate professor of bioengineering, founded in Newcastle, Washington for development and commercialization. Human trials are at least several years away. Artemisinin is readily available, Sasaki said, and he hopes their compound can eventually be cheaply manufactured to help cancer patients in developing countries.” (0)
According to the National Library of Medicine abstract by Lai and Sasaki:
“Artemisinin reacts with iron to form free radicals that kill cells. Since cancer cells uptake relatively larger amounts of iron than normal cells, they are more susceptible to the toxic effect of artemisinin. In previous research, we have shown that artemisinin is more drawn to cancer cells than to normal cells. In the present research, we covalently attached artemisinin to the iron-carying plasma glycoprotein transferrin.Transferrin is transported into the cells via receptor-mediated endocytosis and cancer cells express significantly more transferrin receptors on their cell surface and endocytose more transferrin than normal cells. Thus, we hypothesize that by tagging artemisinin to transferrin, both iron and artemisinin would be transported into cancer cells in one package. Once inside a cell, iron is released and can readily react with artemisinin close by tagged to the transferrin. This would enhance the toxicity and selectivity of artemisinin towards cancer cells. We found that holotransferrin-tagged artemisinin, when compared with artemisinin, was very potent and selective in killing cancer cells. Thus, this ‘tagged-compound’ could potentially be developed into an effective chemotherapeutic agent for cancer treatment.”
Another great thing is that Artemisinin is that is is already FDA approved to treatment of malaria, so it’s know to be safe. It’s inexpensive and it treats all forms of cancer. Below is a video from Dr. Len Saputo, who explains in detail how Artemisinin works against cancer:
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