Jackson State Professor’s Research To Aid in Breast Cancer Treatment
A biology professor at Jackson State University in Mississippi has discovered a plant extract that may be used to aid in the treatment or prevention of breast cancer.
Dr. Ernest B. Izevbigie found that low concentrations of water-soluble leaf extracts of the plant Veronica amygdalina retards the growth of cancer cells, and at high concentrations kills human breast cancer cells in pre-clinical studies.
“In Nigeria, we eat it, and it’s been anecdotally reported to have curative properties for years,” Izevbigie said of the plant, which other researchers noted wild chimpanzees often eat when ill. “No one has ever shown that it works by conducting scientific studies.”
Current treatment approaches have proven beneficial, but new drugs may include an extract from the Nigerian-grown vegetable, which is emerging as a promising agent that may be used to reduce breast cancer morbidity and mortality rates. Izevbigie’s findings were published in the March issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology and Medicine and have led Jackson State to seek its second patent in the university’s history.
“Dr. Izevbigie’s research has potential implications for new treatment approaches and improving women’s quality of life,” says Dr. Felix Okojie, vice president for research, development, support and federal relations at Jackson State. “We’re very excited that we have some research coming out of this university that really shows some potential and that could address a very important issue such as cancer.”
Breast cancer is a leading cause of death among women in the United States with more than 193,000 new cases and 40,000 deaths reported in 2001.
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