Green tea compound shows promise for tackling cancer

Aug 22, 2012
This is Dr. Christine Dufes. Credit: University of Strathclyde

A compound found in green tea could be a weapon in treatments for tackling cancer, according to newly-published research at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

The extract, known as epigallocatechin gallate, has been known to have preventative anti-cancer properties but fails to reach tumours when delivered by conventional intravenous administration.

However, in initial laboratory tests at the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow, researchers used an approach which allowed the treatment to be delivered specifically to the tumours after intravenous administration. Nearly two-thirds of the tumours it was delivered to either shrank or disappeared within one month and the treatment displayed no side effects to normal tissues.

The tests are thought to be the first time that this type of treatment has made cancerous tumours shrink or vanish.

In the tests, on two different types of , 40% of both types of tumour vanished, while 30% of one and 20% of another shrank. A further 10% of one of the types were stabilised.

The researchers encapsulated the in that also carried transferrin, a which transports iron through the blood. for transferrin are found in large amounts in many cancers.

Dr Christine Dufès, a senior lecturer at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, led the research. She said: "These are very encouraging results which we hope could pave the way for new and effective cancer treatments.

"When we used our method, the extract reduced the size of many of the tumours every day, in some cases removing them altogether. By contrast, the extract had no effect at all when it was delivered by other means, as every one of these tumours continued to grow.

"This research could open doors to new treatments for what is still one of the biggest killer diseases in many countries."

The research paper has been published in the journal Nanomedicine. Imaging equipment used in the research was funded by a grant from the Wellcome Trust.

Explore further: Nanocontainers for nanocargo: Delivering genes and proteins for cellular imaging, genetic medicine and cancer therapy

Related Stories

Scientists develop new drug to outflank cancer resistance

Dec 11, 2007

A new drug has shown promising results against breast and prostate cancer cells and tumours that are resistant to conventional hormone-based treatments, according to research published in the British Journal of ...

Inhaler treatment for lung cancer

Oct 11, 2011

Lung cancer patients could receive safer and more efficient treatment through a system being developed by researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

Socking it to cancer

Aug 02, 2006

An Australian research team has identified a gene that could be used to stop tumours growing by blocking their blood supply.

Recommended for you

Engineers show light can play seesaw at the nanoscale

17 hours ago

University of Minnesota electrical engineering researchers have developed a unique nanoscale device that for the first time demonstrates mechanical transportation of light. The discovery could have major ...

Engineered proteins stick like glue—even in water

Sep 21, 2014

Shellfish such as mussels and barnacles secrete very sticky proteins that help them cling to rocks or ship hulls, even underwater. Inspired by these natural adhesives, a team of MIT engineers has designed ...

Smallest possible diamonds form ultra-thin nanothreads

Sep 21, 2014

For the first time, scientists have discovered how to produce ultra-thin "diamond nanothreads" that promise extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Tangent2
1 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2012
The Asians have been proclaiming the health/cancer benefits for years, this is nothing new. "Modern" medicine is slowly catching up.
kochevnik
5 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2012
I wonder if transferrin encapsulation could work as a generalized tumor delivery strategy?