COULD it be that the greatest medical breakthrough of all time – a cure for cancer – has been made in Queensland?
Researcher Peter Parsons is careful not to raise expectations.
But the professor, who has worked for three years in Brisbane on a drug made from extracts of a rainforest shrub, is excited by how it has performed in trials on animals.
He was in Rockhampton on Friday, presenting a forum at CQUniversity on what he describes as a “potential missing link to eradicate cancer”.
The drug, which is directly injected into tumours, has “shown amazing results” in destroying cancerous tissue in mice, cats, dogs and horses.
Human trials are expected to start in the new year.
Professor Parsons told his fascinated Rockhampton audience how the drug was discovered in plants found naturally in the Atherton Tablelands.
“It’s not attracted massive interest among medicos yet because we have not yet published our findings, but a few clinicians we have shown evidence to are very impressed.
The drug, known as EBC46, is remarkable because the plant it derives from can be grown commercially and it does not require synthesising.
This means supplies could be plentiful and processing costs could be low.
In animals a single treatment by injection into transplanted cancers has been all that was needed to make tumours disappear.
Professor Parsons was in Rockhampton at the invitation of the Rockhampton East Rotary Club and the university.
Dawn Hay of the Rotary Club said the organisation had been looking for a project that was unique and a service to the community that it could support. Some of the funding for research on the drug has come from Cancer Council Queensland.
A single treatment by injection into transplanted cancers has been all that was needed to make tumours disappear.
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