July 14, 2024

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Natural medicine can suppress the “small actions” of cancer cells

Natural medicine can suppress the “small actions” of cancer cells


Natural medicine can suppress the “small actions” of cancer cells. 


Introduction: For centuries, people all over the world have been using medicinal plants to fight infections, promote wound healing, and in religious ceremonies.

Scientists have been trying to find the active substances in these plants so that they can be used in modern medicine.

A new study from the University of Copenhagen shows that plants used by indigenous Australians to fight infections may be able to help cancer patients no longer become resistant to chemotherapy.


Researchers at the University of Copenhagen studied an Australian desert plant and discovered a substance that seems to neutralize resistance to certain types of chemotherapy .


Recently, researchers published their research paper in “Biomolecules”, titled “Reversal of ABCG2/BCRP-Mediated Multidrug Resistance by 5, 3′, 5′-Trihydroxy-3, 6, 7, 4′-Tetramethoxyflavone Isolated from the Australian Desert Plant Eremophila galeata Chinnock”.


Natural medicine can suppress the "small actions" of cancer cells



“Cancer cells sometimes develop resistance to drugs, that is, resistance to chemotherapy.

We have discovered a substance in plants that seems to inhibit the ability of cancer cells to resist chemotherapy, that is, inhibit cancer cells’ ability to resist chemotherapy. Drug resistance.

This plant is currently only found in Australia, and Australian indigenous people have been using this plant since ancient times.” said Malene J. Petersen, a doctoral student in the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology.


The natural substance the researchers isolated is a so-called flavonoid . In the laboratory, they tested this substance in combination with SN-38 on human cancer cells.

SN-38 is the active substance of irinotecan (a drug) used to treat aggressive lung cancer and colon cancer. The results show that the combination of natural substances and chemotherapy can inhibit the resistance of cancer cells .


“Cancer cells that are resistant to SN-38 will produce a lot of protein to transport drugs from cancer cells. This is the so-called drug efflux pump .

This natural substance isolated from Australian plants can inhibit drug efflux. Pump , which makes it difficult for cancer cells to effectively remove the drug .” explained Professor Dan Stærk, the project’s director.


“Impressive transcontinental collaboration made this research project possible. We were helped by a retired Australian botanist who drove 55,000 kilometers across dry Western Australia to collect plants. University of Melbourne (University of Melbourne) A colleague from I helped us analyze the DNA of plants to predict which plants are worth studying. Finally, my colleagues at the University of Copenhagen investigated the potential for the sustainable production of biologically active substances using synthetic biology in the future .” Dan Stærk said.



Many anti-cancer drugs are derived from plants


70% of anti-cancer drugs come directly from nature, or are inspired by natural substances . Therefore, the researchers were not surprised by the new findings of this study.


Nine out of ten cancer deaths are due to resistance to cancer drugs . Cancer patients do not respond to treatment or relapse after treatment.

The most common reason is that cancer cells have learned to produce a large number of efflux pumps to resist drugs.


“We already have products that inhibit efflux pumps. However, the effects of these products are not ideal because they are not’specific’ and may have many side effects.

We also believe that we can find more effective effects than the substances we have now discovered. Good compound. This is why we are now starting to look for similar substances in other plants.” Professor Dan Stærk said.


“Interestingly, antibiotic-resistant bacteria seem to produce a large number of almost identical efflux pumps, which can easily expel antibiotics from the cell.

This natural substance, flavonoids, is targeted at this specific pump protein . Therefore, We speculate whether flavonoids may also play a role in the treatment of antibiotic resistance .” Malene J. Petersen said.



Sustainable production of natural medicines


The chemicals used to produce most modern medicines are made from fossil fuels. Therefore, people are increasingly interested in active substances in nature. The US Food and Drug Administration still approves many natural products or analogues as medicines . Analogs are synthetic substances that are almost the same as natural substances.


“Our idea is to use traditional medical knowledge passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years and advanced technology to determine which substances are active substances and which genes in plants encode these active substances. In the long run, this will enable us to Sustainable production of the drugs of the future through synthetic biology .” Professor Dan Stærk explained.






Natural medicine can suppress the “small actions” of cancer cells. 

(source:internet, reference only)

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