Iowa Public Television

 

Using tobacco to fight cancer

posted on June 2, 2000


GEORGETOWN AND NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS PLAN TO INJECT CANCER-FIGHTING PROTEIN FRAGMENTS INTO TOBACCO SEEDS. THE PROTEIN WILL THEN BE EXTRACTED FROM MATURE PLANTS WHICH ARE EXPECTED TO REPRODUCE THE ANTI-CANCER DRUG IN LARGE QUANTITIES.

THE EXTRACTED PROTEIN WOULD BE USED AS A VACCINE IN HEALTHY WOMEN TO PREVENT HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS, A COMMON CAUSE OF CERVICAL CANCER. THE DRUG COULD ALSO BE USED TO TREAT THOSE ALREADY AFFLICTED WITH THE CANCER.

THE ALTERED TOBACCO WOULD TAKE YEARS TO BE PRODUCED COMMERCIALLY, BUT RESEARCHERS CLAIM THEY WILL KNOW IF THE PROCESS WORKS WITHIN SIX MONTHS.


Tags: cancer diseases drugs news plants tobacco