Plants Could Unlock Future Cancer Therapies

April 25, 2022 10:18:06

Researchers have highlighted the important role that some plants play in the manufacture of cancer drugs and why these new sources and plant resources need to be maintained in an effort to avoid overexploitation. For instance, Kew Gardens researcher Melanie-Jayne Howes stated that a chemical found in the Pacific yew tree was used to develop an anti-cancer drug called paclitaxel, which is effective in the treatment of breast and ovarian cancers. However, the chemical is produced in low volumes, which led to many trees being cut down in order to manufacture these drugs. Now, the Pacific yew tree is classified as near threatened.

Botanists have presented a solution in a similar drug, which is found in higher concentrations in the yew plant, which is currently being used to manufacture paclitaxel. However, alternative solutions may not always be available, given that there’s still so much that researchers don’t know or understand about plant biology. Researchers are also still not able to synthesize some medications, partly due to their complex nature, which explains the reliance on plants for crucial cancer medications.

Leeds University professor Susan Short also notes that the discovery of new tumor types and subtypes highlights the need for new drugs as well as new ideas. Short is currently leading a trial on Sativex, a marijuana-based drug used in the treatment of recurrent glioblastomas. Glioblastomas are an aggressive type of brain tumor. This trial will also evaluate the drug’s effectiveness in treating multiple sclerosis when administered as an oral spray during standard chemotherapy.

Other plant-based cancer drugs include vincristine and vinblastine, which are used in the treatment of melanoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, among other cancers. These medications are sourced from periwinkle extracts. This plant, which is native to Madagascar, is grown in different parts of the globe as an ornamental plant. Traditionally, rose periwinkle was used as a treatment for diabetes. However, recent research has shown that it also possesses anti-cancer properties.

Plant extracts are also used to manufacture drugs to treat other indications, including a sweet wormwood extract known as artemisinin, which was found to be effective in the treatment of malaria. Sweet wormwood is an herb that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine. Its extract was discovered by TuYouyou, a chemist who went on to win the 2015 Nobel Prize in medicine.

Additionally, a snowdrop extract known as Galantamine is utilized in the treatment of dementia.

At the moment, all possible sources of cancer remedies are being sought by plenty of bio-tech companies such as CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) in order to offer the help that millions around the world need in their fights against the cancers afflicting them.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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