• Stinging nettles: A new approach to cancer

    • Updated  
    • Published in Health
    Stinging nettles File Photo Stinging nettles

    An innovative approach to cancer treatment utilizes a compound found in stinging nettles. While it's early days, the new treatment could offer more effective and more specific cancer treatment.

    A platinum-based drug called cisplatin is often used in the fight against cancer. Though it can be effective, there are significant shortfalls.

    Over time, many cancers become resistant to the drug, and its ability to kill cancer cells diminishes.

    Another issue is that cisplatin attacks healthy as well as cancerous cells, leading to a range of side effects.

    For these reasons and others, more efficient cancer treatments are constantly being searched for.

    Researchers at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom recently studied a new compound to assess whether it might be useful in the fight against cancer, particularly ovarian cancer and prostate cancer.

    Prof. Peter Sadler, a medicinal chemist from the University of Warwick, explains their focus, saying, "Platinum compounds are the most widely used drugs for cancer chemotherapy, but we urgently need to respond to the challenges of circumventing resistance and side effects."

    "Our lab," he continues, "is focused on the discovery of truly novel anti-cancer drugs which can kill cells in totally new ways. Chemo-catalysts, especially those with immunogenic properties, might provide a breakthrough."

    The results of the team's experiments are published this week in the journal Nature Chemistry.