Cancer fighting drugs from pineapple
Pineapple plant may offer powerful cancer fighting drugs, that's the message from Australian Scientists. They have discovered that pineapple molecules contain powerful anti-cancer agents capable of fighting cancer. This discovery may lead to a new class of cancer-fighting drugs.
Australian scientists from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) have focused on two molecules from bromelaine, an extract derived from crushed pineapple stems that is used to tenderize meat, clarify beers and tan hides.
One of these molecules called CCZ, stimulates the body's immune system to target and kill cancer cells, the other, CCS is capable of blocking a protein called Ras, which is mutated in 30 percent of all cancers.
QIMR researcher Tracey Mynott said her team had set out to find why the enzyme-rich bromelaine crush had such strong effects on biological material.
"In searching for these components, we discovered the CCS and CCZ proteins and found that they could block growth of a broad range of tumor cells, including breast, lung, colon, ovarian and melanoma," Mynott said in a statement.
While clinical trials are a long way off, Mynott said the research had huge potential.
"The way CCS and CCZ work is different to any other drug in clinical use today," she said.
"Therefore, CCS and CCZ will represent a totally new way of treating disease and potentially a whole new class of anti-cancer agent."