Three studies show artemisinin has colorectal cancer benefits

Three studies show artemisinin has colorectal cancer benefits
Artemisinin, or sweet wormwood the anti-malarial herb, has shown anti-cancer benefits in three more studies:
1. For example, it has been shown in a small randomised, placebo-controlled preliminary clinical study, to improve the survival time of colorectal cancer patients. A much larger Clinical Trial is now being set up.
A derivative of artemisinin, artesunate, was used with 9 patients, the placebo in 11. The numbers of people experiencing cancer cell death (apoptosis) greater than 7% was 67% for the artesunate group and 55% for the placebo group.
However, after 42 months 6 of the 11 in the placebo group had seen cancer recurrence, whereas only 1 in the artesunate group.  Dr. Sanjeev Krishna of St George’s Hospital, Tooting, London was the lead researcher(1).
Although colorectal cancer has now been shown many times to be linked to microbiome disturbance produced by antibiotics or drugs, it seems that the action of artemisinin, and its derivatives, is not simply that it can effectively deal with parasites, pathogens like E coli, and yeasts. There are more than 120 research papers showing that it has anti-cancer effects, almost certainly through its actions in the energy production system, a feature common in all its targets,” said Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist and founder of CANCERactive. 
Go to: Super Herb Artemisinin kills parasites, yeasts, pathogens, viruses and even cancer cells  
2. Artemisinin derivatives have high anti-tumor activity including the ability to cause cancer cell death (apoptosis), influencing energy production and relieving oxidative stress. The exact mechanisms are still unknown, but what is clear according to a review(2) on the herb, is that artemisinin can make certain anti-cancer drugs (like Doxorubicin) work better simply by increasing toxic load.
Aminolaevulinic acid and artemisinin – a deadly combination against cancer
3. A third study(4) by a team from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Singapore led by Dr Lin Qingsong,  alongside Professor Shen Han-Ming and Dr. Wang Ji-gang, showed that Aminolaevulinic acid (ALA), a precursor to haems, chlorophylls and cobalmins and an agent, Porphyrin, used as a photosensitiser in tumour-imaging and Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) for a number of cancers, could  enhance the action of artemisinin against cancer so that it performed much better in combination than on its own.
The Singapore team who had previously studied(3) the exact action of artemisinin against the malarial parasite, found the anti-cancer activity resembled the anti-malarial activity. Malarial parasites digest haemoglobin from the blood of their hosts and this increases their haem levels. Haem contains and iron atom and can thus bind oxygen.  Artemisinin is activated by haem and then attacks multiple protein pathways in the parasite.
Cancer cells are known to have higher haem levels than healthy cells and their thirst for iron often leaves patients anaemic. Indeed, one study previously reported in cancer watch used artemisinin bound to iron as a way of delivering the herb into cancer cells. 
ALA is a known haem synthesis precursor and can increase haem inside cancer cells. The artemisinin was shown by the team to attack more than 300 pathways used by cancer cells.
The team found that healthy cells were untouched, and now intends to study the effect of the double attack on other cancers.

  1. A Randomised, Double Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study of Oral Artesunate Therapy for Colorectal Cancer. Krishna S, Ganapathi S, Ster IC, Saeed ME, Cowan M, Finlayson C, Kovacsevics H, Jansen H, Kremsner PG, Efferth T, Kumar D. (EBioMedicine. 2014 Nov 15;2(1):82-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2014.11.010. eCollection 2015 Jan.) 

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