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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Spanish research discovers antitumor capacity of an Amazonian plant

The Vismia Baccifera plant that grows in the Colombian Amazon may have the key to fight against liver cancer, since it is capable of killing its tumor cells, according to a research project developed at the Spanish university of the Basque Country (north).
The magazine "Heliyon" publishes the results of the work, although those responsible for the investigation warn that there is still much to analyze until, eventually, it can be used for chemotherapy.
Researchers have found that this plant induces significant oxidation that leads to the death of cancer cells, but not of healthy ones.
"Indigenous populations use it for its anti-inflammatory capacity, or for diseases of the urinary tract, or skin diseases, but we chose it because in previous studies we had seen that it has the greatest antitumor capacity in liver cancer cells that we have used, "Dr. Jenifer Trepiana, one of the authors of the research, told Efe.
The study was carried out "in vitro" - in a test tube - with a model of human liver tumor cells that were treated with the aqueous extract of "Vismia baccifera" leaves, prepared in infusion, as it is used in traditional medicine indigenous.
The plant increases free radicals, specifically hydrogen peroxide, and that "produces death by blocking the cell cycle, that is, they stop dividing," said Trepiana.
After the "in vitro" phase, what should be done in the next stage is a live study, "with animal experimentation, for example with rodents, to be able to see the therapeutic effects that this plant could have and the potential as an agent chemotherapy in liver cancer ".
"The most important thing is to do it live and then do clinical trials with these compounds to reach patients. It is a very long trajectory, and we know that even within years, something is not achieved, "he warned, pointing out his ultimate goal in chemotherapy, although" there are still many years left ".
However, Trepiana valued the current results and opted to continue with the research and move towards studies with animal models, "to overcome stages until it is used as cancer therapy. Although we know that this path is very long ". 

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