Taiwan Discovers New Drug to Stop Breast Cancer Spreading

Taiwan Discovers New Drug to Stop Breast Cancer Spreading
Photo Credit: REUTERS/達志影像

What you need to know

Taiwan’s Academia Sinica has discovered a new material that can reduce the possibility of cancer cells spreading, lowering the risk of death after a tumor has been removed.

Compiled and translated by Yuan-ling Liang

Academia Sinica has developed a new material to help stop the spread of breast cancer cells. According to its tests, Q2-3, a newly invented material composed of plant extracts, prevent cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body after the main tumor has been removed.

RTI reports, the Taiwanese team used Q2-3 on mice with cancer and found it performs very effectively. The material stimulates the generation of IL-25, which represses the growth of tumors. The experiment showed that adding Q2-3  alleviated breast cancer metastasis – the spread of cancer from one organ to another. 

The team describes the medical breakthrough as promoting a “conversation between cells” and it fires up the natural mechanism within the body that controls health maintenance.

Kuo Yueh-hsiung, lecturing professor at the Department of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chinese Medicine Resources of the China Medical University, told the media that Q2-3 has no side effects and even helps alleviate the pain that chemotherapy brings. Additionally, the cost of making Q2-3 is very low.

Liberty Times reports, Dr. Yang Ning-sun, one of the team’s researchers, says more experiments will be conducted to see if Q2-3 can be used in other types of cancers. Further research will also be carried out to discover the best materials to use  in combination with Q2-3.

After testing on humans, the drug is expected to be launched within six to 12 years. The research report was published in the “Nature Communications” in April this year.

Academia Sinica is filing for an international patent.

Breast cancer death rate increasing globally

CommonWealth reports, breast cancer has become one of the most serious health issues among women worldwide. American Cancer Society points out that about 12% of women in the US develop breast cancer during their lifetime.

Even after a breast cancer tumor is removed, there is a high chance the cancer cells will spread to other parts of the body, potentially leading to death for many patients.  

UDN reports, on April 17, Taiwan’s Health Promotion Administration of Ministry of Health and Welfare announced the number of people diagnosed of cancer in 2013. According to its statistics, the number of Taiwanese people suffering from cancer increased by more than 50% compared to 2003.

The number of patients that suffer from breast cancer increases annually. It currently ranks as the fourth highest occurring cancer in Taiwan.

Tsai’s biotech policy emphasizing pharmaceutical development

Last October, president-elect Tsai Ing-wen emphasized the importance of developing pharmaceutical industry in Taiwan in her policy proposal.

Tsai points out that the new government will promote advanced research in medical teams and build more institutes for drug testing. She says “medical industrial communities” will be established in Taipei, Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan respectively and improve Taiwan’s pharmaceutical industry.

Edited by Edward White

Liberty Times Net
China Times
American Cancer Society