Improvements to cancer drug
By addition of a chemical called Sodium Formate derived from formic acid, which is found in stinging nettles and ants (among other natural organisms), to a cancer drug called JS07, the drug is approximately 50 times more effective.
A group of researchers based at the University of Warwick lead by Prof. Peter Sadler, found that the compound more often used as a food preservative helped to disrupt the cancer cell’s energy generating mechanism forcing the cell to shut down.
The research was carried out on human ovarian cancer cells. The effective addition of Sodium Formate would allow the dose of the JS07 drug required to target cancer cells to be reduced – resulting in a reduced toxicity and potential side effects. Furthermore, while the Sodium Formate is used up in the interaction with the cell’s energy generation mechanism, remaining molecules of JS07 can be introduced to a new supply of Sodium Formate and become potent again.
It is hoped that research like this could lead to substantial improvements in cancer survival rates.