Pancreatic Cancer Treated With Ancient Chinese Medicine
Modern science has been paying increasing attention to the value and efficacy of ancient Chinese Medicine. A study earlier this year, for example, found that a Chinese herbal remedy involving the Corydalis yanhusuo plant was effective in treating chronic pain. Now new research published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research has revealed that another traditional remedy holds significant potential in the fight against pancreatic cancer.
Phellodendron amurense, the bark of the Amur cork tree, has been used in ancient Chinese medicine for thousands of years and has a long history of healing powers. Throughout Chinese history, it has been used as one of the 50 fundamental herbs, typically administered as a painkiller.
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center discovered that the cork tree's extract had the ability to block cancer development pathways and inhibit the scarring that prevents anti-cancer drugs from entering the cancer. "Once you have fibrotic tissue, the drugs cannot get into the cancer," said A. Pratap Kumar is the study's principal investigator and a professor of urology in the School of Medicine at the Health Science Center. But Phellodendron amurense prevents fibrosis from occurring around the tumour gland. Additionally, it was found to suppress an enzyme which causes further inflammation within the tumours.
The ancient Chinese remedy could eventually be integrated into cancer treatment. As a first step, the extract has now been made available as a dietary supplement and has been deemed safe for use by cancer patients.