An Amazonian plant has 'tremendous' potential in treating liver cancer، according to scientists from the University of the Basque Country.
The botanical extract of the indigenous Vismia baccifera leaf kills liver tumours in the lab، a Spanish study found.
V.baccifera triggers cancerous cells into 'suicide' without harming healthy tissue، which causes much of the grueling side effects of chemotherapy. Human liver cancer cells were treated with an extract of V.baccifera leaf in the lab.
Study author Dr Jenifer Trepiana said: 'Right now، there is huge interest in identifying compounds derived from plants that could be used as chemotherapeutic agents with the capacity to prevent tumours from growing، or to treat metastasis، for example.'
Metastasis occurs when cancer spreads due to the development of tumours away from the disease's original site in the body.
The plant was picked from the Amazonian forest of Florencia، Columbia. ndigenous populations use it for its anti-inflammatory properties or for urinary tract disorders or skin diseases، but we chose it because in previous studies we had seen that it is the one with the greatest antitumour capability in liver cancer cells that we have used،' Dr Trepiana said.