Thunder God Vine Root Extract Wiped Out Pancreatic Cancer in Lab Mice
At the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center, a study was done in 2012 using an active component of thunder god vine extract called triptolide and how it affected pancreatic cancer tumors in lab mice.
The results were STUNNING.
After only 40 days of treatment, the pancreatic tumors present in the mice were simply … GONE.
And after treatment was stopped – they didn’t come back.
The lead doctor and vice chairman of the study, Rohit Chugh, M.D, told Bloomberg that “This drug is just unbelievably potent in killing tumor cells” (Gucciardi, p1).
Again, this study was done on mice, not men, but the results look very promising.
As you may or may not know, Pancreatic cancer is about as deadly as it gets for cancer. Every year, over 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer, and a MERE 5% survive for five years after diagnosis. Only FIVE PERCENT. That’s only about 2,000 people out of the forty thousand diagnosed. Pancreatic cancer is a lethal killer for a number of reasons, including difficulty in early diagnosis and a lack of effective medication. The survival rate for this type of cancer has not increased over the last 30 years (Jemal et al. 2010).
There’s hope on the horizon, however, that this lack of progress in pancreatic cancer research will soon be over with the new study done by Dr’s Rohit Chugh and Ashok Saluja reported that a compound derived from a Chinese medicinal vine called “Thunder God Vine” (Tripterygium wilfordii) effectively kills pancreatic cancer cells in several complimentary in vitro and in vivo models (Chugh et al. 2012). Follow-up clinical studies may finally give us the weapon we need to fight this dreaded cancer. (Gucciardi).
There may be indication that the Thunder God Vine extract is also effective against other forms of cancer, including but not limited to colon cancer, neuroblastoma, and cholangiocarcinoma (Philips et. al., 2007)(Antonoff et. al.). The problem the researchers faced, however, was the Triptolide was not innately soluble in water. The scientists synthesized Triptolide into an analogous compound called Minnolide, which was soluble in water, and “like triptolide, Minnelide effectively kills pancreatic cancer cells in multiple complimentary models: pancreatic cancer cell lines, an orthotopic pancreatic cancer mouse model, a xenograft pancreatic cancer mouse model, and a spontaneous pancreatic cancer mouse model” (Sangwen).
Sangwen goes on, saying “[T]he Chugh and Saluja team demonstrated that Minnelide, a water soluble analog of triptolide, a cancer-fighting compound in the Chinese medicinal vine Thunder God, can both prevent and regress pancreatic cancer in several complimentary in vitro and in vivo models. In these models, Minnelide is more effective than gemcitabine, the leading chemotherapeutic used to fight human pancreatic cancer. It is effective at low doses, at various stages of cancer progression, via multiple methods of administration, and it is not toxic. After three decades, might there finally be a drug that can stop one of the deadliest cancers in its tracks? For that answer, we’ll have to wait on the outcomes of forthcoming clinical trials.”
However, there is no money for big Pharma in the study of actual medicinal plants. The money lies in creating adulterated, synthetic compounds from plant derivatives and patenting them in order to sell medicine made from the synthesized compounds. Gucciardi concurs, citing the example of turmeric and ginger, saying that science as an industry is very slowly affirming ancient herbal traditions are not only often correct, but effective as well.
But, again, there is no money in it for them compared to patenting a synthetic version.
The problem with that, though, is twofold. One, chemically created compounds may not always be as safe as the original “nature produced” herbs themselves, and two, drug companies have been caught falsifying their scientific documentation which is presented to the FDA for approval. Reuters reports that just ONE company, Cetero, “in at least 1,900 instances between April 2005 and June 2009, laboratory technicians identified as conducting certain studies were not actually present at Cetero facilities at that time, the FDA said in its May report. The FDA also said at the time that Cetero might have “fixed” studies to get the desired result, or did not include failed results in their report” (Selyukh, Yukhananov).
It would appear that at least in this case, it was more important to that company to get their drug approved than to actually verify its safety before production.
Perhaps its time we look more at what nature intended than at chemically produced compounds to heal ourselves and maintain our health.
Antonoff, Mara B. et al. “Triptolide therapy for neuroblastoma decreases cell viability in vitro and inhibits tumor growth in vivo” Surgery , Volume 146 , Issue 2 , 282 – 290. Retrieved from <http://www.surgjournal.com/article/S0039-6060(09)00313-4/fulltext>
Gucciardi, Anthony. “Chinese Plant Compound Wipes out Cancer in 40 Days, Says New Research”. 2012, Oct 18. Retrieved from <http://naturalsociety.com/chinese-plant-compound-cancer-research/>
Jemal, A (et.al.). CA Cancer J Clin. 2010 Sep-Oct;60(5):277-300. doi: 10.3322/caac.20073. Epub 2010 Jul 7. Retrieved from <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20610543>
Phillips, PA. Cancer Res. 2007 Oct 1;67(19):9407-16. Retrieved from <http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/67/19/9407.long>
Sangwen. “Thunder God Vine: New Weapon Against Pancreatic Cancer?” The Jackson Laboratory. 2012, Oct 31. Retrieved from “http://jaxmice.jax.org/news/2012/Minnelide.html”.
Selyukh, Alina and Anna Yukhananov; editing by Andre Grenon. “FDA finds U.S. drug research firm faked documents”. 2011, Jul 26. Retrieved from <http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/26/us-fda-cetero-violation-idUSTRE76P7E320110726>