New medical trials for cancer-fighting drugs generally aren’t big news. Dozens of these same types of trial occur every year all over the world. One particular trial is a bigger deal than most because it deals with a cancer fighting treatment that very rarely gets the same type of attention and exposure. This particular trial being conducted by AOR Inc. in Calgary is conducting a study of the effects of dandelion tea involving 30 participants with blood cancers like leukemia. This type of study is one of very few that are being done on the potential for natural cancer cures and is great news in my opinion.
The original research was done by researchers at the University of Windsor. Dr. Siryaram Pandey, a professor of biochemistry at the university said, “We scientifically validated that dandelion root extract has very potent anti-cancer activity.” Mitacs, a non-profit organization in Canada, provided the funds to have AOR Inc. formulate a dandelion extract compound to be tested based on Dr. Pandey’s research.
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George Templeton, the director of operations from AOR Inc. said, “Dandelion has been used medicinally for centuries. In the last couple decades, it’s been started to be used for cancer treatments, mostly just through patients self-medicating.” The key for AOR was to increase the potency of the dandelion root extracts to a level that would truly be effective for fighting cancer. “We’ve gone through many trials to find what does work and what doesn’t work,” said Rachel Jacyszyn, a research associate at AOR. “We finally found something that does work.”
The trial is set to begin very shortly and was approved by Health Canada in 2013. AOR has developed roughly 6,000 doses of the dandelion root extract to be made into tea. The 30 participants of the trial all have a blood cancer like leukemia and lymphoma, and the researchers are eager to see results. The study will be conducted by Dr. Caroline Hamm who is a medical oncologist from the University of Windsor.
Hamm says that in her experience with patients who drink dandelion tea that “Most of the responses that I have seen are very short. but there’s a signal there that I think is worthwhile of further investigation.”
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It’s encouraging to see the money that is usually spent on the high-end clinical trials of cancer drugs being used to do a clinical trial on a natural cancer treatment.