Tea Extract Makes 40% Skin Cancer Disappear

Green tea extract can make skin cancer tumors disappear by up to 40%, but scientists say more research is needed because it also shows that the compound is not strong enough to have the health benefits when naturally brewed in a cup.

It all comes down to a chemical found in green tea that was used to treat two types of skin cancer using the extract, which made tumors disappear.

Scientists at the universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow, who carried out the research, found the extract, known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), had no side-effects on other cells or tissue.

They created a cell with EGCg and transferrin, a protein that naturally targets and latches on to the surface of cancer cells, and applied it to tumors.

Anti-cancer properties of EGCg were established in earlier laboratory tests elsewhere. Scientists at other universities around the world have experimented with it to treat prostate cancer and leukaemia.

“These are very encouraging results which we hope could pave the way for new and effective cancer treatments,” Lead researcher Dr Christine Dufes, from the University of Strathclyde, said.

“When we used our method, the green tea extract reduced the size of many of the tumours every day, in some cases removing them altogether. By contrast, the extract had no effect at all when it was delivered by other means, as every one of these tumours continued to grow,” Dufes added.

The research is published in the medical journal Nanomedicine.

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