…found in Queensland rainforest!
A single injection of the drug directly into melanoma models in the laboratory, as well as into cancers of the head, neck and colon in animals, destroyed the tumours long-term in more than 70% of cases, the study’s lead author, Dr Glen Boyle, said.
“In preclinical trials we injected it into our models and within five minutes, you see a purpling of the area that looks like a bruise,” Boyle, from the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute said.
Researchers believe the drug triggers a cellular response which cuts off the blood supply to the tumour by opening it up.
“That’s why we see a bruise-like situation forming in the tumour,” Boyle said. “This seems to lead to an activation of the body’s own immune system which then comes in and cleans up the mess.”
It has been used by veterinarians in about 300 cases of cancer in companion animals including dogs, cats and horses.
There was no evidence EBC-46 would be effective to treat cancers that had spread to other parts of the body, known as metastatic cancers, Boyle said.
The drug is being developed as a human and veterinary pharmaceutical through QBiotics, a subsidiary of the company which discovered the drug, called EcoBiotics. The company is also examining the potential for a blushwood plantation.
Ethical approval was recently granted for phase 1 human clinical trials, but even if those proved successful, it was unlikely the drug would replace conventional chemotherapy treatment, Boyle said.
“Chemotherapy is still used because it is very effective for a lot of people,” he said. “But EBC-46 could perhaps be used in people who, for some reason, chemotherapy doesn’t work [for], or for elderly patients whose body can’t sustain another round of chemotherapy treatment.”
The preclinical trial was funded by QIMR Berghofer and the National Health and Medical Research Council and the results were published in the journal PLOS One.
Original post by theguardian.com