Traditional forms of medicine may offer hope for cancer.
Experts from Cardiff University's School of Medicine have joined forces with Peking University in China to test the health benefits of a traditional Chinese medicine. The new treatments come from Chinese herbs used for liver, lung, colorectal cancers and osteosarcoma of the bones.
"Traditional Chinese medicine where compounds are extracted from natural products or herbs has been practised for centuries in China, Korea, Japan and other countries in Asia," according to Professor Wen Jiang from Cardiff University's School of Medicine, who is the director of the Cardiff University-Peking University Joint Cancer Institute at Cardiff and led the research as part of a collaboration between Cardiff University and Peking University.
The traditional Chinese herb formula consist of 14 herbs. The formula has been shown to be beneficial to cancer patients. The researchers have discovered how the formula work. Apparently it works by blocking a pathway which stops the spread of cancer cells in the body.
"It suggests that combining the formula with conventional as well as new therapies could hold the key to developing new treatments for cancer patients.
"We are already looking to clinical trials in treatment of lung and other cancer types."
Funded by Cancer Research Wales and the Albert Hung Foundation – the results will be presented at the European Cancer Congress 2013 which takes place in Amsterdam between the 27th September and 1st October.