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Plants May Help Battle Tumours

The Herald

08-29-11

SCOTTISH scientists believe new treatments for ovarian cancer are a step closer after they developed a way to test the powers of plant extracts to kill tumours.

Researchers at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences say their work could pave the way for new medicines as the tests show a variety of plant extracts can be used to tackle cancer cells.

Ovarian cancer affects more than 600 women in Scotland every year and Alan Harvey, professor of pharmacology at Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, said it was hard to detect.

He added: "Our collection of natural plant samples gives us a broad range of possibilities for treatment and we have had good results from many plants.

"The high throughput screening in the method we have used has produced a high return and we are hoping more tests will bring new treatments a step closer."

The researchers are working with staff from Portsmouth University. Ian Cree, professor of histopathology, Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at Portsmouth said: "This is a first - no-one has managed to use cells obtained directly from cancers to screen an entire library of plant extracts."

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