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article imageRemarkable cancer-fighting berry tree discovered

By Tim Sandle     Oct 7, 2014 in Science
Scientists have discovered that a berry found only in Far North Queensland has previously unknown cancer-fighting properties.
The berry was discovered by Dr Glen Boyle, from the QIMR Berghofer medical research institute in Brisbane.The berry grows on the blushwood tree; this tree only grows in pockets of Far North Queensland, Australia. The initial lead came from discovery that native marsupials found the berry unpalatable due to an inflammatory chemical present. This got Dr Boyle thinking that the inflammatory chemical could act on tumors.
For the past eight years, according to ABC News, Dr. Boyle has been experimenting with the berries. The results of his endeavors suggest that the berry is effective against skin cancer and tumors of the head and the neck.
From an analysis of the chemicals inside the berry, an experimental drug has been developed. The drug is coded EBC-46, and it has been used in scores of animal studies. With these experiments cats, dogs and horses have been subjected to conditions that have led to cancer developing. Following this the drug has been administered, and there has been a 75 percent success rate. Furthermore, the drug is very fast acting and there is little in the way of observable side-effects.
One of the scientists involved with the trials, Victoria Gordon, told The Courier Mail that "there is a rapid knock-down of the tumor, it disintegrates within 24 hours and we have a rapid healing response. The biggest tumor we treated was the size of a Coke can in a dog, and that animal is fully healed and healthy."
Following the animal tests, pre-clinical trials have been taking place using human cells. The results of these studies indicate that the drug should be effective in human patients.
The berry-derived anti-cancer drug appears to work in three ways: it kills the tumour cells directly, it cuts off the blood supply to the tumor, and it can stimulate the immune system within the mammalian body to remove any cancerous residues.
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