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Taiwan identifies cancer-fighting substance

2012/08/10 16:45:56

Taipei, Aug. 10 (CNA) A team of researchers said Friday they have identified a substance found in the body that is an anti-inflammatory and tumor suppressant, which could pave the way for new cancer therapies.

The finding confirms that the body has innate healing energy and a protective mechanism, Kenneth Wu, president of the National Health Research Institutes, said at a press conference.

Wu has devoted more than a decade to locating an organic compound called 5-methoxy-hyptophan (5-MTP).

The compound has been proven to effectively suppress the proliferation of an enzyme that can cause growth in cancer cells, he added.

An experiment was done on mice in which lung cancer had been induced. Fifty days after injection of 5-MTP, the mice had a nearly 50 percent tumor growth reduction and cancer cells had been inhibited from spreading to other parts of the body.

This is a "landmark in the search for treatment based on self-healing” and can serve as a valuable lead for new anti-cancer drug development, according to a press statement released by the institute.

The finding was published online July 31 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

(By Nancy Liu)