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Ants' chemical improves cancer drug by 50 times

Sat, Mar 21, 2015, 11:36 AM
London, March 21: A chemical found in ants and in a plant called stinging nettles could make a cancer drug 50 times more effective, a research has found.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, found that when the chemical, Sodium formate, is used in combination with a metal-based cancer treatment it can greatly increase its ability to shutdown cancer cells.

"Cancer cells require a complex balance of processes to survive. When this balance is disrupted the cell is unable to function due to a range of process failures and eventually shuts down," said lead researcher and professor Peter Sadler from the University of Warwick in Britain.

Laboratory tests on ovarian cancer cells have shown that when used in combination with Sodium formate, the drug called JS07 is 50 times more effective than when acting alone.

"The potent form of JS07 has proven to be very successful when tested on ovarian cancer cells," Sadler added.

Derived from formic acid which is commonly found in a number of natural organisms including nettles and ants, Sodium formate (E-237) is more commonly used as a food preservative.
Agency: IANS

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