Anti-Cancer Effect of Artemisinin

How does Artemisinin kill cancer cells?
- Cancer cells need irons to enable them to grow aggressively, hence cancer cells typically absorb a significantly larger amount of iron than noraml, healthy cells. When Artemisinin come in contact with these irons in the cancer cells, it would trigger a chemical reaction and form charged atoms that chemists call "free radicals". The free radicals attack the cancer cell membranes, breaking them apart and killing them. This is why Artemisinin is highly toxic to cancer cells. Tests have been conducted to show that Artemisinin causes rapid and extensive damage and death in cancer cells and yet has relatively low toxicity to normal cells.

 

Is Artemisinin just another herbal fad in the alternative cancer therapy?
- Typically most herbal cancer therapies, despite how effective they might be, are not recongized by conventional Western medicine. But unlike most supposed anti-cancer herbs, Artemisinin's cancer-fighting property was not discovered by alternative practitioners but by medical researchers working at a prestigious university. Research Professors Henry Lai, Ph.D., and Narendra Singh, M.B.B.S., at the University of Washington in Seattle are the pioneer scientists in studying the anti-cancer property of Artemisinin. Their work has spurted a new exciting direction in the area of anti-cancer treatment, and tremendous amount of research effort is still undertaking.

Which type of cancer has Artemisinin been shown effective against?
- Studies are showing that Artemisinin has destructive activity against 55 cancer cell lines. Most notably Artemisinin has shown to be effective against cancer cells from leukemia, colon, lung, breasts to fibrosarcomas. It has also been shown that Artemisinin even killed cancers that were traditionally resistant to chemotherapy.

 

Is Artemisinin safe to use?
- Artemisinin is extracted from naturally occuring botanical that is capable of selectively destroy cancer cells. Artemisinin only becomes toxic to cancer cells because cancer cells are loaded with iron, which trigger the destructive reaction. But Artemisinin has shown little to none toxicity toward healthy cells. Additionally, Artemisinin has a safe track record since it has been serving as an effective malaria drug for more than a decade for millions of people who have already taken Artemisinin to treat malaria.

If Artemisinin has such a promising anti-cancer effect, why isn't it more well-known?
- The reason Artemisinin lacks public attention is because Artemisinin is extracted from natural herbs and therefore cannot be patented. There won't be enormous marketing until after its genetic and chemical structure has been duplicated in the laboratory with the addition of a chemical sidearm that makes it into a patentable "new drug".