Weed destroys cancer

March 1, 2005

National Report — According to BetterHumans, a compound derived from a mountain weed has been found to almost eliminate skin cancer in mice, reinforcing previous findings suggesting that it could prevent and treat widespread forms of cancer in people.

National Report - According to BetterHumans, a compound derived from a mountain weed has been found to almost eliminate skin cancer in mice, reinforcing previous findings suggesting that it could prevent and treat widespread forms of cancer in people.

The discovery was made by American and Chinese researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

The compound cyclopamine, is derived from the corn lily, a weed-like plant that grows in mountain meadows in the Western United States.

The new findings extend its cancer-fighting capabilities to a common form of skin cancer. Jingwu Xie and colleagues have found that oral administration of cyclopamine dramatically reduced tumor development in mice genetically engineered to be prone to basal cell carcinoma (BCC).

"We showed 90 percent fewer microscopic BCC tumors after treating with cyclopamine and 50 percent fewer visible tumors," says Mr. Xie, lead author of the study.