Drug From Chinese ‘Thunder God Vine’ Slays Tumors in Mice


Drug From Chinese ‘Thunder God Vine’ Slays Tumors in Mice
By Drew Armstrong

October 17, 2012

A drug made from a plant known as “thunder god vine,” or lei gong teng, that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine, wiped out pancreatic tumors in mice, researchers said, and may soon be tested in humans.

Mice treated with the compound showed no signs of tumors after 40 days or after discontinuing the treatment, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center. The research, funded by the university and the National Institutes of Health. was published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

… While the researchers hope to start human trials in six months, Saluja said it’s still a long leap from mice to people.

“Does that mean it will definitely work in humans?” he said. “We can definitely not say that.”

The results pave the way for clinical trials in patients with pancreatic cancer, one of the most lethal malignancies, the researchers said in the study. About 44,000 new cases of the disease are diagnosed each year in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Only about 20 percent of patients survive a year after diagnosis, Saluja said.

As Glenn Reynolds said on Instapundit, “Faster, please”! No cancer is pleasant, however the nasty thing about pancreatic cancer is that its symptoms are often so non-specific that by the time it’s found it’s time for the sufferer to “put their affairs in order”.