A chemical in the berries of the Australian blushwood tree could cure a range of tumours including melanoma and breast cancer.
Scientists at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Queensland have developed an experimental drug known as EBC-46. Using a compound extracted from the blushwood tree berry, the drug has proven extremely promising, with a single local injection resulting in tumour reduction within hours.
'In most cases the single injection treatment caused the loss of viability of cancer cells within four hours, and ultimately destroyed the tumours,’ lead researcher Dr Glen Boyle told the ABC.
Retailers of the native tree are scrambling to take the rainforest variety off sale however, after fears that people could be poisoned attempting to create homemade cancer treatments.
‘Our concern was people were just going to grow it, get some fruit, crush it up and eat it,’ Roger Smith, manager of Yuruga Native Plant Nursery told the Cairns Post.
Researcher Steven Ogbourne of the University of Sunshine Coast says it’s not that simple, and a complex procedure is required to extract the cancer-fighting compound.
Human trials are currently being planned for the promising drug.