Tuesday October 22, 2019

Neem extract can be used in pancreatic cancer treatment

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To buy a Neem toothpaste, click here.

New York: Indian-origin scientists and a team of researchers said, a natural extract derived from Neem tree can be used for treating lethal pancreatic cancer.

The results revealed that nimbolide, an active molecule isolated from Neem tree (Azadirachta indica), can stop pancreatic cancer’s growth and spread without harming normal, healthy cells.

“The promise nimbolide has shown is amazing, and the specificity of the treatment towards cancer cells over normal cells is very intriguing,” said Rajkumar Lakshmanaswamy, associate professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso in the US.

Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all cancers with 94 percent of patients dying within five years of diagnosis.

The cancer grows quickly and there are currently no effective treatments available.

In the study, Lakshmanaswamy and colleagues observed that nimbolide was able to reduce the migration and invasion capabilities of pancreatic cancer cells by 70 percent meaning the cancerous cells did not become aggressive and spread.

And that is promising, the researchers said.

In humans, this migration and invasion or metastasis of pancreatic cancer to other regions of the body is the chief cause of mortality.

Nimbolide treatments also induced cancer cell death, causing the size and number of pancreatic cancer cell colonies to drop by 80 percent.

“Nimbolide seems to attack pancreatic cancer from all angles,” Lakshmanaswamy said.

What is more, the Neem compound did not harm healthy cells in both the in vitro and in vivo experiments.

“Many people in India actually eat neem and it doesn’t have harmful side effects, which suggests that using nimbolide for pancreatic cancer will not cause adverse effects like chemotherapy and radiation typically do,” study lead author Ramadevi Subramani, postdoctoral researcher at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Centre, said.

The findings appeared in the journal Scientific Reports.

While the results are promising, Lakshmanaswamy said there is still a long way to go before nimbolide can be used to treat pancreatic cancer in humans.

The researchers said they plan to continue researching the anticancer mechanisms behind the plant extract.(image: stylecraze.com)(IANS)

To buy a Neem toothpaste, click here.

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Scientists to Detect and Count Stranded Whales from Space

It is hoped that in the future the technique will lead to real-time information as stranding events happen

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Scientists, Whales, Space
Now we have a higher resolution 'window' on our planet, satellite imagery may be a fast and cost-effective alternative to aerial surveys allowing us to assess the extent of mass whale stranding events, especially in remote and inaccessible areas. Pixabay

Analysing satellite images may help scientists detect and count stranded whales from space, new research has found.

In a study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers tested a new detection method using Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite images from space tech compnay Maxar Technologies.

“This is an exciting development in monitoring whales from space,” said lead author Peter Fretwell at British Antarctic Survey.

“Now we have a higher resolution ‘window’ on our planet, satellite imagery may be a fast and cost-effective alternative to aerial surveys allowing us to assess the extent of mass whale stranding events, especially in remote and inaccessible areas.”

Scientists, Whales, Space
In a study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers tested a new detection method using Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite images from space tech compnay Maxar Technologies. Pixabay

It is hoped that in the future the technique will lead to real-time information as stranding events happen.

The study by scientists from British Antarctic Survey and four Chilean research institutes, could revolutionise how stranded whales, that are dead in the water or beached, are detected in remote places.

In 2015, over 340 whales, most of them sea whales, were involved in a mass-stranding in a remote region of Chilean Patagonia.

The stranding was not discovered for several weeks owing to the remoteness of the region. Aerial and boat surveys assessed the extent of the mortality several months after discovery.

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The researchers studied satellite images covering thousands of kilometres of coastline, which provided an early insight into the extent of the mortality.

They could identify the shape, size and colour of the whales, especially after several weeks when the animals turned pink and orange as they decomposed.

A greater number of whales were counted in the images captured soon after the stranding event than from the local surveys.

Scientists, Whales, Space
“This is an exciting development in monitoring whales from space,” said lead author Peter Fretwell at British Antarctic Survey. Pixabay

“The causes of marine mammal strandings are poorly understood and therefore information gathered helps understand how these events may be influenced by overall health, diet, environmental pollution, regional oceanography, social structures and climate change,” said study co-author and whale biologist Jennifer Jackson at British Antarctic Survey.

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“As this new technology develops, we hope it will become a useful tool for obtaining real-time information. This will allow local authorities to intervene earlier and possibly help with conservation efforts,” Jackson said. (IANS)