Sydney: A green-tea extract could help destroy deadly childhood cancers that are resistant to traditional chemotherapy, a new study has found.
Cancer researcher Orazio Vittorio said that a modified antioxidant called catechin can kill 50 per cent of the cells from neuroblastoma cancers within three days in laboratory studies.
On Friday night he was awarded the Kid`s Cancer Project Award in the NSW Premier`s Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research, which will give him 25,000 dollars to put towards developing potentially life-saving treatment from his research, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Neuroblastoma is the most common cancer to strike infants, and has the lowest survival rate of all childhood cancers.
Catechin, extracted from green tea, is thought to be a promising cancer treatment, but its instability when it enters the body limits its effectiveness.
Dr Vittorio worked with a team of chemists to modify the catechin into a more stable form.
Dr Vittorio, from the Children`s Cancer Institute Australia and the Lowy cancer research centre at UNSW said that the modified form of catechin is effective at destroying neuroblastoma cells that are highly resistant to conventional chemotherapy, yet has minimal effects on normal cells.