New Cancer Treatment Using Himalayan 'Caterpillar Fungus' Offers Encouraging Results In Phase 1 Trial

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New Cancer Treatment Using Himalayan 'Caterpillar Fungus' Offers Encouraging Results In Phase 1 Trial

A new potential cancer treatment is being developed using a molecule found in a Himalayan fungus.


The chemical, NUC-7738, has been synthesised by researchers at the University of Oxford and is still in an experimental stage. However, many are hoping that it will be a major breakthrough against the deadly disease.


NUC-7738, also known as cordycepin, is derived from the parasitic fungus species Ophiocordyceps sinensis, also known as caterpillar fungus. The fungus is already used widely in Chinese traditional medicine. NUC-7738 is a naturally occurring nucleoside analogue known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.


While in its natural state, it is likely to have no benefit against cancer, synthesising it into a viable drug may have huge benefits.


In early tests, the drug has been used in a phase 1 trial with 28 patients with advanced tumours that have not responded well to traditional cancer medication.


It has been reported that the patients have responded to the drug well and that there has been:


"Encouraging signals of anti-tumour activity and prolonged disease stabilization."


The paper in which the findings are published, adds:


"These findings provide proof of concept that NUC-7738 overcomes the cancer resistance mechanisms that limit the activity of 3'-dA and support the further clinical evaluation of NUC-7738 as a novel cancer treatment."


Once the findings and safety of the Phase 1 trial is determined, a Phase 2 will commence in which a greater understanding of the drug's benefits can be seen.


The report of the discovery comes at the same time as it is reported that new immunotherapy drugs have been found to eliminate head and neck cancers in previously terminally ill patients, some of whom are alive 4 years after their terminal diagnosis. Immunotherapy uses the body's own immune system to target cancer cells and eliminate them. The drugs have also been shown to have fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy drugs.


[h/t: science alert]


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Thinking Humanity: New Cancer Treatment Using Himalayan 'Caterpillar Fungus' Offers Encouraging Results In Phase 1 Trial
New Cancer Treatment Using Himalayan 'Caterpillar Fungus' Offers Encouraging Results In Phase 1 Trial
A new potential cancer treatment is being developed using a molecule found in a Himalayan fungus. The chemical, NUC-7738, has been synthesised by rese
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