Siyaram Pandey has discovered two natural extracts that successfully target cancer cells. The UWindsor biochemistry professor found both dandelion root extract and long pepper extract cause cancer cells to undergo apoptosis, essentially committing suicide while leaving healthy cells unaffected.
“It doesn’t target DNA. It targets the metabolic vulnerability of cancer cells,” said Dr. Pandey. “Healthy cells can tolerate the extract. Cancer cells cannot tolerate it; they die.”
Today on the CJAM radio show Research Matters, Pandey will speak with host Sara Elliott about his latest paper on using extract from the flowering plant long pepper.
Pandey’s first research project on dandelion root extract made a media splash. He says it is important to find additional extracts that can also target cancer cells. In traditional chemotherapy treatments, patients can develop resistance to their first treatment drug. So it’s necessary to have alternative treatments available with natural extracts as well in case patients become resistant.
Pandey, post-doctoral fellow Pam Ovadje, and graduate and undergraduate student contributors have published their long pepper findings in the November 2014 edition ofPLOS One.
Research Matters airs Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5 p.m. on CJAM radio, 99.1 FM.