New research finds that a structural analog of a compound found in an endangered Chinese fir tree has cancer-fighting properties when combined with an existing cancer drug.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimate that doctors diagnosed well over 1,700,00 new cases of cancer in 2018, and more than 600,000 people in the United States died from the disease.
Globally, cancer continues to be one of the leading causes of death; by the year 2030, the NCI estimate that 23.6 million new cancer cases will occur.
Researchers are therefore hard at work trying to devise new strategies to fight off this chronic disease, and more and more scientists are turning to nature in search of solutions.
For instance, Medical News Today has recently reported on a study that examined the breast cancer-fighting potential of oolong tea extract; another recent study found that a synthetic analog of a compound scientists found in a Chinese tree may be able to tackle drug-resistant pancreatic cancer.
Now, Mingji Dai, an organic chemist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, has lead a team of scientists who are adding to the mounting evidence that nature may hold the key to cancer therapies.
Dai collaborated with Zhong-Yin Zhang, a professor of medicinal chemistry at Purdue, to examine the molecular makeup and therapeutic potential of a tree called Abies beshanzuensis — an endangered species of a Chinese fir tree.