A compound found in the seeds of blushwood berries has shown to be very effective in killing cancer cells. These tropical berries are only found in the rainforests of Far North Queensland, Australia.
Could this naturally occurring compound replace chemotherapy and radiation in the future?
Experimental Drug Successfully Destroyed Tumors In Pets
Scientists at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Queensland, headed by Dr. Glen Boyle, have successfully used an experimental drug produced from the berry seeds of the blushwood tree.
The drug, called EBC-46, was directly injected into melanoma (most deadly form of all skin cancers) models in the laboratory, as well as cancers of the head, neck, prostate, breast, and colon of 300 pets. Dogs, cats, and horses included.
All these animals were given no chance for survival, and amazed veterinarians with their full recovery.
One Single Injection, Fast Results
In 70% percent of all cases only one injection directly into the tumor was needed to destroy it long-term. But what amazed the scientists most was that the response to the drug was almost immediate.
“The surprising thing for us and the thing that we don’t see very often is the speed with which this occurs. Usually when you treat a tumor it takes several weeks for it to resolve, but this is very, very rapid. There’s a purpling of the area, of the tumor itself, and you see that within five minutes and you come back the next day and the tumor’s black and you come back a few days later and the tumor’s fallen off.”
The Drug Works on Three Levels
It cuts off the blood supply, kills tumors, and triggers the immune system to come and clean up the mess.
“We see a bruise-like situation forming in the tumor,” Boyle said. “This seems to lead to an activation of the body’s own immune system which then comes in and cleans up the mess.”
And maybe the biggest plus with this new drug, there appears to be no side effects and it acts superfast.
However, he adds that there was no evidence EBC-46 would be effective to treat cancers that had spread to other parts of the body, known as metastatic cancers.
While this experimental drug has been successfully used by veterinarians in about 300 cases, trials are still ongoing to prove its effectiveness in human patients.
‘We must stress at this point that EBC-46 will only be trialed in the short-term for tumors which can be accessed by direct injection or topical application,’ Dr Boyle said.
Next to testing the drug on humans, Boyle and his team are also looking into other ways to grow these precious blushwood berries. They are very picky on their conditions and only seem to grow in one small part of the world – the Atherton Tablelands in Australia’s Far North Queensland region.
Some people have attempted to grow blushwood berries on farms or in greenhouses, but so far it has proven very difficult.