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Flowers Hazardous to Cancer Tumors

According to an article published September 12, 2011 on Fox New.com scientists from the University of Bedford in northern England have turned the chemicals from the crocus plant into a drug which targets and destroys cancer tumors of almost any type without any known side effects.

So far they have only tested the drug on five types of cancer in mice including breast, lung, colon, sarcoma and prostate cancer but results are not just promising but amazing. Half of the tumors in a group of mice vanished completely after just one dose of the drug with no damage to healthy tissue.

"What we've designed is, effectively, a 'smart bomb' that can be targeted directly at any solid tumor to kill it without appearing to harm healthy tissue," according to Professor Laurence Patterson, from the university's Institute for Cancer Therapeutics (ICT).

The main ingredient for the drug is derived from colchicine which is a natural compound of the autumn crocus which has been used homeopathically for thousands of years to cure inflammation.

"Although it's well known for having antięcancer properties, colchicine is not used to treat cancer because it is too toxic against normal tissues within the body," researcher Kevin Adams said.

"We've found a way to harness colchicine's power so that it's harmless to healthy tissue but still toxic to tumor blood vessels."

The research is promising though still in the early stages of testing. Clinical trials however are scheduled to start soon and if successful the new drug could be available in as little as 6 years.

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