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Scientists obtained an effective anti-cancer compound from a very common plant (syrup) that had not previously been molded into pharmaceutical molds.

The University of Purdue and the Scripps Research Institute have developed a new compound from the abundant Jatropha carcass, which curbs cancer proteins that have never been controlled by any drug before.

We know that in cancer, the cells do not die but accumulate in clusters and tumors. They then spread to other parts of the body. Cancer cells invade the DNA of other healthy cells to increase their numbers.
In certain types, such as brain, breast, bowel, lung and liver cancers, a protein called BRAT1 or BRAT1 controls all aspects of DNA damage and repair. These types of cancer can be largely controlled by treating this protein, but unfortunately no drug has been developed to treat this protein.

“As far as we are concerned, we have a lot of compounds to kill cancer cells and stop them in another place, but we didn’t have any drug compounds that could stop BRAT-1,” said Professor Mangjai Dai, the lead scientist in the discovery.

Jatropha carcass is common throughout the United States, having previously had a global reputation for biofuel production. This tree has produced many compounds called curcumin. Due to their structure, they are very different from other compounds and have a wide range of biological activities. The tree is expected to provide new weapons in the fight against cancer.

In the next step, the scientists tested curcumin A, B, C and D on breast cancer cells in a laboratory. Curcumin D was found to be very effective in shrinking cancerous tumors. The results were even better when it was used in combination with a drug, etoposide. It should be noted that this drug is commonly used in breast cancer and is also approved by the FDA.

But at the moment a big problem is that it is very difficult to extract curcumin from the roots of Jatropha because only a small amount of it can be extracted from many roots. In the next step, it will be tried to compile (synthesize) it in the laboratory.

Scientists hope to find a more specific state of the compound in this way, but after these encouraging results, experts will have to go further.

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