WASHINGTON: Scientists isolated a potent anti-cancer compound from a Mediterranean weed that acts like ‘molecular grenade’.
In lab studies, researchers said they found that a three-day course of the drug called G202 reduced the size of human prostate tumours grown in mice by an average of 50 per cent within 30 days.
G202 outdid the chemotherapy drug docetaxel, reducing seven of nine human prostate tumours in mice by more than 50 per cent in 21 days.
Docetaxel reduced one of eight human prostate tumours in mice by more than 50 per cent, the journal Science Translational Medicine reports.
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Centre and Denmark also reported that G202 produced at least 50 percent regression in models of human breast cancer, kidney cancer and bladder cancer, according to a Johns Hopkins statement
Based on these results, Johns Hopkins physicians have performed a phase I clinical trial to assess safety of the drug and have thus far treated 29 patients with advanced cancer. A phase II trial to test the drug in patients with prostate cancer and liver cancer has been planned.
The drug G202 is chemically derived from a weed that grows in the Mediterranean region.
“Our goal was to try to re-engineer this very toxic natural plant product into a drug we might use to treat human cancer,” says Samuel Denmeade, professor of oncology, urology, pharmacology and molecular sciences, who led the study. “The drug can be injected and can travel through the bloodstream until it finds the site of cancer and hits a protein called PSMA. ians