I thought it would be interesting to take a look at cancer research from an Asian perspective.  Here is a an article from the Website of a major newspaper from India, AndhraNews.net:

Compound is showing promise against some forms of cancer like leukemia.
December 14, 2010 – Kuala Lumpur

A new compound is showing promise against some forms of cancer like leukemia.

The compound comes from the Aglaia foveolata tree, found in Sarawak’s highlands, and has entered pre-clinical trials.

Scientists at the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC), which owns the intellectual property rights to the plant, say that the experiments found an extracted compound called Silvestrol offered benefits not found in other cancer-fighting drugs.

“First, it seems to inhibit leukaemia growth compared with controlled tests performed on mice. Second, the tests show that it seems to bypass drug resistance,” the Star Online quoted Dr Yeo Tiong Chia, senior research officer at the center, as saying.

Dr Yeo, a graduate of the Washington University in immunology, said he was confident of the compound’s potential.

Of course, like all pre-clinical studies, the devil is in the details.  Can silvestrol’s anti-cancer properties translate from test tube to a human application?

The odds say no.  Still, don’t you get the feeling that one of these obscure discoveries might “break-out” and become a major anti-cancer player?  I do.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

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