Aussies working with toads to help cancer patients

Researchers from The University of Queensland are working closely with their colleges from the Hong Kong Poltechnic University on a new cancer treatment.  This treatment stems from a traditional Chinese medicine that comes from toad by-products.

The toad based medicine called Chan Su has been used in China for treating heart failure, sore throats, skin conditions, and many other illnesses.  The toad by-product contains molecules that are made up of some toxins and steroids that can be used to help those fighting cancer.

In a statement made on the University of Queensland website, Dr Harendra Parkh stated, “Our collaboration with PolyU researcher Dr Sibao Chen has focussed on developing a soluble formulation of purified bufalin steroid, a key component of Chan Su which doesn’t dissolve easily, making it difficult to administer as a medicine.

“Working together, the two research teams hope to show bufalin’s anti-cancer effect in cell-based laboratory tests.

“Given the market acceptance of Chan Su as a traditional medicine in China, the jointly-developed technology will be further advanced and taken to market there.”

Professor Terence Lok-ting Lau, who is the Director of PolyU’s Innovation and Technology Development Office thinks this is a huge step in innovation for both countries.  Professor Lau stated, “This Australia-China collaboration began with a seed grant from the Shenzhen Government of China, so we are delighted that it has progressed into a potential product which combines novel technologies with traditional Chinese medicine”.

What do you think?  Do you think there is more we could learn from traditional medicines?

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