Saturday, April 27, 2019

New Cancer Treatment Discovered in Endangered Chinese Fir Trees

Science Daily has informed us of the new discovery which was made at Purdue University through the work of organic chemist, Mingji Dai and professor of medicinal chemistry Zhong-Yin Zhang. After the failed attempts to find within the tree a treatment for diabetes and obesity, Mingji and Zhong-Yin started exploring other potential uses. They uncovered that a synthetic analog of the tree’s molecule, named Compound 30, was a strong and effective inhibitor of SHP2. The complete findings were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.  SHP2 plays a major role in many types of cancer. For this reason it is one of the main focuses with many new cancer fighting drugs. Compound 30 not only reacted with SHP2 but formed a strong covalent bond, making it more effective than most other cancer fighting drugs on the market. Unfortunately Compound 30 alone does not kill cancer directly but when paired with other existing drugs it can greatly enhance the results.

According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2018 over 600,000 people lost the fight against cancer. Those are staggering numbers that should stun us all. Although there are many worthy research projects, I personally feel finding preventative methods and cures for cancer should be at the top of the list. Cancer affects all ages, nationalities and genders, no one is immune. It is a horrible disease with sometimes a more painful treatment plan. I believe preventative medicines and effective treatments exist. It is our responsibility to adjust our focus and finances to ending this tragic statistic from continuing in the same direction.


  1. The fact that a new cancer treatment was just discovered from a plant species leads me to think that this kind of article could help the public see why they conservation of biodiversity and all organisms is necessary and could benefit humans. Often times people aren't aware of the ecosystem services we gain from the plants and animals in our surrounding environment, but that should be no reason to allow them to be destroyed by anthropogenic distrubances.

  2. Any new cancer treatment is always welcome. And like the comment above mentions, this is a great example of a plant that people are not aware of that we have allowed to become endangered. I think this is a good example about the need to preserve ecosystems.