A team of medical researchers are on their way to finding a cure for cancer after the discovery of a an amazing rainforest berry which holds cancer fighting properties.
Scientists at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Queensland have used an experimental drug produced from the seeds of the rainforest plant, Blushwood tree (Hylandia Dockrillii), which exclusively grows in far north Queensland, to cure solid cancer tumours in pre-clinical trials.
Already the drug has been used to successfully destroy or shrink tumours in pets and animals – including dogs, cats and horses and even Tasmanian Devils, while human trials are imminent.
Blushwood (pictured) is the plant where the cancer fighting berries are sourced. Scientists from an experimental drug produced by the seeds of the plant have been used to cure cancer tumors in pre clinical trials.
The study led by Dr Glen Boyle found a single injection of the drug EBC-46 led to rapid breakdown of a range of tumors which could be effective in human patients.
‘We were able to achieve very strong results injecting EBC-46 directly into melanoma models, as well as cancers of the head, neck and colon,’ said Dr Boyle.
‘In most cases the single injection treatment caused the loss of viability of cancer cells within four hours, and ultimately destroyed the tumours.’
blood supply to the tumour.
‘In more than 70 per cent of pre-clinical cases, the response and cure was long-term and enduring, with very little relapse over a period of 12 months.’
Dr. Boyle also told ABC News about the use of several models of tumours.
‘Including melanoma, head and neck cancer, colon, prostate cancer, and breast cancer, and it works very well in all of them. We’re looking at around about a 75 per cent ablation rate,’ he said.
He says the drug can start working instantly.
‘There’s a purpling of the area of the tumour itself, and you see that within five minutes. You come back the next day and the tumour is black, and come back a few days later and the tumour has fallen off.’
Dr. Boyle has also described how the compound works in three ways, killing the tumor, cutting off blood supply and activating the body’s immune system to clean up.
EBC-46 is a compound extracted from the fruit of the Blushwood tree which is found in north Queensland rainforests and has been known to have fast acting medicinal properties.
Finding the wonder-berry can be difficult because the Blushwood is extremely particular about which conditions it will grow.
But it was discovered by the Queensland biotechnology company EcoBiotics and is being developed as a human and veterinarian pharmaceutical through QBiotics.
QBiotics is currently undertaking formal veterinary clinical trials in Australia and the USA while a final regulatory approval is still required for a human phase and clinical trial.
‘The human trials planning is a work in progress,’ said a QBiotics spokesman.
‘They have not yet started trials.’
Dr. Boyle says he is keen to pursue further research to see if this drug could be made more effective.
‘We must stress at this point that EBC-46 will only be trialled in the short-term for tumours which can be accessed by direct injection or topical application,’ Dr Boyle said.
‘There is no evidence to suggest EBC-46 would be effective against metastatic cancers.’