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Got Cancer?

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru January 2003 » Strictly Absinthe & Collectibles » Got Cancer? « Previous Next »

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Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2002 - 3:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

This is one of the most thought provoking
articles I've ever read about Wormwood.
Thank you Mogey. I must admit however, had
it not been that I love breasts and
John Carpenter films I may not have given it
a second glance.
Posted on Sunday, December 1, 2002 - 10:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wormwood Extract Kills Cancer Cells

Medieval as it sounds, scientists are testing a recipe of wormwood and iron
on breast cancer cells, and so far the results are encouraging. In a new
study, researchers report that artemesinin--a derivative of the wormwood
plant--kills iron-enriched breast cancer cells but doesn't harm many healthy
ones. Artemesinin's destructive properties are triggered by higher than
normal levels of iron in cancer cells.
Many experiments have found that artemesinin turns deadly in the presence of
iron. In Asia and Africa, artemesinin tablets are widely and, in many cases,
successfully used to treat malaria, because the parasite has a high iron
concentration. Cancer cells can also be rich in iron, as they often soak up
the mineral to facilitate cell division. The cells bring in extra iron with
the help of transferrin receptors, special receiving points that funnel the
mineral into the cell. Although normal cells also have transferrin
receptors, cancerous ones can have many more.
To test artemesinin's effect on breast cancer cells, bioengineers Henry Lai
and Narendra Singh of the University of Washington, Seattle, enriched
segregated normal breast cells and radiation-resistant cancerous ones with
holotransferrin, a compound normally found in the body that carries iron to
the cells. Then the team dosed the cells with artemesinin. As the pair
reports in the 16 November issue of Life Sciences, almost all the cancer
cells exposed to holotransferrin and artemesinin died within 16 hours. The
compounds killed only a few of the normal cells. Lai believes that because a
breast cancer cell contains five to 15 more receptors than normal, it
absorbs iron more readily and hence is more susceptible to artemesinin's
"This looks very promising," says Gary Poser, an organic chemist at Johns
Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Still, he adds, "other
researchers need to replicate these results." The next step, says Poser, is
to treat a mixture of normal and cancerous cells, instead of segregating the
two. Lai and others are also interested in artemesinin's effect on other

© 2001 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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