A study conducted at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Queensland, Australia has recently shed new light on what could become the next big cancer treatment: the blushwood berry.
This naturally occurring fruit contains compounds that began killing off cancer cells almost immediately when studied in the laboratory. The Guardian Reports Scientists have managed to destroy cancerous tumors by using an experimental drug derived from the seeds of a fruit found in north Queensland rainforests.
The drug, called EBC-46, was produced by extracting a compound from the berry of the blushwood tree, a plant only found in specific areas of the Atherton Tablelands. 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.
“About 24 hours later, the tumour area goes black, a couple of days later you see a scab, and at around the 1.5 week mark, the scab falls off, leaving clean skin with no tumour there. The speed certainly surprised me.”
Researchers believe the drug triggers a cellular response which cuts off the blood supply to the tumor 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.
Healthy & Natural World Reports :
Blushwood Berries – Where they Come From
Blushwood berries are the fruit of the blushwood tree, which is known to grow in only one region of the world: the rainforests of Far North Queensland, Australia. These tropical trees are not found anywhere else on the globe, but grow in abundance near Australia’s northeastern tip.
These particular trees need very niche conditions to thrive—conditions which can only be found in specific portions of Far North Queensland, Australia. Considering their usefulness as proven by the latest cancer research published in PLOS One, some are wondering if they could be grown in a greenhouse environment, so that people all over the world could benefit from their cancer-killing properties.
Blushwood Berries – What kind of Cancer they Eradicate
The researchers at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, headed by Dr. Glen Boyle, used an experimental drug produced from the seeds of blushwood berries called EBC-46. They used this drug to treat spots of melanoma (the most deadly form of skin cancer) on dogs, cats and horses.
The subjects were diagnosed by veterinarians and given a poor prognosis, most being considered candidates for euthanasia prior to participating in the study. Amazingly, these animals that had been on death’s door prior to the study had their melanoma tumors disappear after treatment in the lab by Dr. Boyle and his team of scientists.
Tumors were Gone within 48 Hours
When the EBC-46 was injected into the cancerous cells on the subjects, the tumors reacted by turning a dark color, then falling off. The derivative from the blushwood berry is thought to cut off oxygen supply to the cancer cells, allowing for the removal of tumors without the need for surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
The researchers reported that most of the subjects’ tumors—previously considered a lost cause by veterinarians—were gone within 48 hours of being injected with EBC-46. Under the microscope, the individual cancer cells began shriveling up and dying within mere moments of coming into contact with the EBC-46.