Artemisinin shown to kill cancer cells, especially when bound to iron

Artemisinin shown to kill cancer cells, especially when bound to iron

Artemisinin, or sweet wormwood, has significant action against malaria, yeasts, pathogens and parasites. What is also true is that this Chinese herb has significant action against cancer, especially brain cancer.

Artemisinin can kill cancer cells, especially when it is bound to iron

According to studies published in journals like Life Sciences, Cancer Letters and Anticancer Drugs, artemisinin - often called wormwood - can kill off cancer cells at a rate of 12,000 cancer cells for every healthy cell.

Henry Lai and a team of researchers from the University of Washington tagged artemesinin with iron (transferrin), which cancer cells use.

“By itself, artemisinin is about 100 times more selective in killing cancer cells as opposed to normal cells. But the tagged compound was 34,000 times more potent.

“We call it a Trojan horse because the cancer cell recognizes transferrin as a natural, harmless protein. So the cell picks up the compound without knowing that a bomb (artemisinin) is hidden inside.”

The compound is currently being licensed by the University of Washington to Artemisia Biomedical Inc., a company that Lai, Sasaki and Narendra Singh, UW, associate professor of bioengineering, founded in Newcastle, Washington for development and commercialization of artemisinin.

“Although, human trials are at least several years away, Artemisinin is readily available today”, Sasaki said. However, already the researchers are concerned that the product they sold the license for, is being developed all too slowly!

Go To: A review on Artemisinin

It seems to have significant benefits with all cancers but especially brain tumours.

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“Artemisinin is currently FDA approved for the treatment of malaria, it’s very safe and easy to use. It’s inexpensive and works on all cancers” added Sasaki.


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