Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plant stem cells could be fruitful source of low-cost cancer drug

Date:
October 26, 2010
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
A popular cancer drug could be produced cheaply and sustainably using stem cells derived from trees, a new study suggests.

A popular cancer drug could be produced cheaply and sustainably using stem cells derived from trees, a study suggests.

Related Articles


Researchers have isolated and grown stem cells from a yew tree whose bark is a natural source of the anticancer compound paclitaxel. The development could enable the compound to be produced on a commercial scale at low cost, with no harmful by-products.

Scientists and engineers behind the development say the drug treatment -- currently used on lung, ovarian, breast, head and neck cancer -- could become cheaper and more widely available. The study was carried out by the University of Edinburgh and the Unhwa Biotech company in Korea.

Currently, an extract from yew tree bark is used to industrially manufacture the compound paclitaxel. However, this process is expensive, requires supplies of mature trees, and creates environmentally damaging by-products.

Researchers claim that using stem cells -- self-renewing tree cells which can be manipulated to produce large amounts of the active compound -- would effectively create an abundant supply of the drug. The process would cost far less than conventional methods.

Scientists behind the project have also cultured stem cells from other plants with medical applications, indicating that the technique could be used to manufacture other important pharmaceuticals besides paclitaxel.

The study was published in Nature Biotechnology and supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Professor Gary Loake, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who led/took part in the study, said: "Plants are a rich source of medicine -- around one in four drugs in use today is derived from plants. Our findings could deliver a low-cost, clean and safe way to harness the healing power of plants, potentially helping to treat cancer, and other conditions."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eun-Kyong Lee, Young-Woo Jin, Joong Hyun Park, Young Mi Yoo, Sun Mi Hong, Rabia Amir, Zejun Yan, Eunjung Kwon, Alistair Elfick, Simon Tomlinson, Florian Halbritter, Thomas Waibel, Byung-Wook Yun, Gary J Loake. Cultured cambial meristematic cells as a source of plant natural products. Nature Biotechnology, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1693

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Plant stem cells could be fruitful source of low-cost cancer drug." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025121855.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2010, October 26). Plant stem cells could be fruitful source of low-cost cancer drug. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025121855.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Plant stem cells could be fruitful source of low-cost cancer drug." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025121855.htm (accessed November 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

AFP (Nov. 20, 2014) UN Resident Coordinator David McLachlan-Karr and WHO representative in the country Daniel Kertesz updated the media on the UN Ebola response on Wednesday. Duration: 00:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 20, 2014) U.S. Congress hears from a victim and company officials as it holds a hearing on the safety of Takata airbags after reports of injuries. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) The newest estimate of the cost of obesity is pretty jarring — $2 trillion. But how did researchers get to that number? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calling All Men: Here's Your Chance to Experience Labor Pains

Calling All Men: Here's Your Chance to Experience Labor Pains

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 20, 2014) Chinese hospital offers men a chance to experience the pain of child birth via electric shocks. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins