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Killing Skin Cancer Cells, One Plant Extract at a Time

/ October 31, 2017 /

India is moving quickly in its journey to create scientific history. One such instance is the discovery that came out this month, about the correlation between Anthocephalus cadamba, an Indian medicinal plant, and Skin Cancer cure.

Increase in Cases of Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer incidents are on the rise now, especially because of global warming and air pollution. Also, with our fast lifestyles and the increase in cases of sunburns, Skin Cancer is coming up in conversations more frequently. Other causes of Skin Cancer include exposure to radiation in the past and a weakened immune system.

The success rate of treatments for Skin Cancer, when diagnosed in its early stages, is 95%. But the numbers drop alarmingly low when the cancer spreads to more areas of the body. In particular, if melanoma spreads to other parts of the body, the survival rate goes down to 18%. With such a low figure, more effective treatment methods need to be in place

Treatment Breakthroughs Using Plant Extract

The teams at IIT Hyderabad and Mumbai were working together on uncovering the positive impacts that had been theorised about Anthocephalus cadamba when they stumbled upon an effective treatment for Skin Cancer. They found that this plant’s extract is toxic to cancerous cells. They used this extract and combined it with a dye. The dye is found to help eliminate Skin Cancer cells using electromagnetic radiation. Heat has definitely played a huge role in this process where a near-infrared light was used to treat the dye.

The nanoformulation of the two particles makes the treatment and destruction of cancerous cells more effective. Its success was seen in the statistics which showed that the 83% of cancer cells were killed using this polymer. It was also noted that the dye or the plant extract alone weren’t as powerful as the synthesis of the two with photothermal therapy applied to it.

While this research is only in its initial stages, it is definite that, with deeper analysis and testing, we can use this plant extract to build a Skin Cancer treatment process. In the future, this stepping stone can help effectively cure patients with Skin Cancer. The team also hopes to look at the different kinds of breast cancer that affects animals.

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