Friday, November 18, 2016

cancer fighting plant from ancient Chinese medicine

The picture you see above is a plant called camptotheca acuminata(Nyssaceae) or the tree of life. The plant is a native tree in southern China and Tibet. It grows to be 20 to 25 feet high. There are two species types known as, camptotheca acuminata(Nyssaceae) and camptotheca lowreyana. Chemists are now studying the plant trying to synthesize the substance camptothecin. In the 1960, chemists began to test the first synthetic form of the drug but it proved to be too potent or toxic for human consumtion. Researchers went back in 1980 to make a water-soluble version. After researchers were successful in making the water-soluble version,  they noticed it could still kill tumors. Camptothecin  is in the making to treat multiple types of cancers. Some cancers that have been treated from camptotheca include ovarian, lung and colon cancer. There are two synthetic forms that had been on the market which are camptosaur and hycamtin. These drugs are used to help people that are in chemotherapy.

Rare Chinese tree may help fight leukemiaScience News. Vol. 90, August 20, 1966, p. 115. 

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