Editor's note: The very first thing cancer patients can do is change their diet. A diet that is full of meat, dairy products and sugar are a very good medium that cancer cells like to use to grow themselves. On one hand, cancer patients should restrict their caloric intake and on the other, they should eat foods that do not help cancer cells to say the least. There are foods that help cancer and foods that fight cancer. This can win cancer patients more time to decide which treatment they need.
By Maria Cendejas
The University of Kansas has a multidisciplinary research team that made a ground-breaking discovery in the natural plant-based cancer treatments, according to Natural News.
It was published in the Journal of Natural Products that discovered wild tomatillo (Physalis longifolia), a weed commonly found all over the Midwestern Great Plains and in other areas of North America. It holds at least 14 distinctive anti-cancer compounds that could one day change the way doctors approach cancer treatment.
Back in the 1990s during a bioprospecting project in South America, Barbara Timmermann, a medicinal chemist and co-director of KU's Native Medicinal Plant Research Program, made a remarkable finding. A plant native to that particular region turned out to contain anti-cancer compounds, which prompted her, whose work involves identifying plants with medicinal properties to search out ways to look into it more.
But because of cost, distance, and other physical and financial barriers, Timmermann wasn’t able to return to South America to make the needed analyses and finish her research. She reportedly joined up with Kelly Kindscher, who is a senior scientist at the Kansas Biological Survey, to look for similar plants in the American Midwest. And much to their surprise, wild tomatillo turned out not only to contain the compound in question, but also to possess even more anti-cancer compounds than the original South American plant.
"Our research led us to Physalis longifolia, which is a fairly common plant throughout the Midwest. From there we discovered not only the molecule we were seeking, but also the 14 new compounds, most of which have turned out to be even more potent than the original one we were looking for. Discovery is a beautiful thing when it happens like that," said Timmerman.
Animal trials show that the wild tomatillo can effectively mitigate, cure cancer. After first identifying wild tomatillo, Timmerman and Kindscher sought the help of Dr. Mark Cohen, who is a surgical oncologist and translational clinician scientist at the KU Medical Center, to analyze the plant. The three successfully identified the 14 compounds in question, known as withanolides, which in animal trials have already been shown to both fight and eradicate cancer cells.
According to Dr. Cohen's laboratory analysis, these 14 compounds target melanomas, thyroid cancer, head and neck squamous cell cancer, breast cancer, glioblastoma brain tumors, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and certain leukemias. When fed wild tomatillo, test mice with these and other cancers saw their tumors shrink drastically, and in some cases even completely dissolve, without any negative side effects or noticeable toxicity.
The breakthrough findings are major, that Timmerman and her team's work was featured at the recent University Research & Entrepreneurship Symposium in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"We're excited by the preliminary results. While our research is still in the early stages, we're optimistic that some of these 14 molecules could lead to new plant-based drugs or dietary supplements,” said Timmermann.
Wild tomatillo extracts, powders, and supplements are not generally or commercially available to the public. But as research on wild tomatillo continues to come out, its likely that wild tomatillo products might hit the market soon in the form of all-natural, food-based supplements.