Tropical plants may contain the basis of new and effective treatments for ovarian cancer, according to researchers at the Universities of Strathclyde and Portsmouth.
The scientists are developing a programme for testing plant extracts for the ability to stop cells from ovarian tumours growing. In initial tests, several plant extracts killed the tumour samples, taken from cancer patients.
The extracts are complex mixtures of many different chemicals but ingredients in the plants could be used as starting points for new medicines to tackle the disease. The scientists are now planning further investigation of the most promising compounds.
Our collection of natural plant samples gives us a broad range of possibilities for treatment and we have had good results from many plants. A great many samples have been studied in our collaboration with Portsmouth and a lot of activity has been detected that wouldn’t have been picked up in conventional tests.