Common white flower may harbour leukaemia cure

A common white flower could revolutionise the treatment of leukaemia, researchers have said.

Updated: Apr 30, 2010, 08:57 AM IST

London: A common white flower could revolutionise the treatment of leukaemia, researchers have said.

An extract from the white flower commonly known as Baby`s Breath has been found to boost the efficiency of anti-cancer drugs by a million time.

They found that molecules called saponins, extracted from the Gypsophila paniculata plant, appear to break down the membrane of cancer cells, which makes it easier for antibody-based drugs, known as immunotoxins, to attack the cancerous cells.

The research was carried out at the newly refurbished Simon Flavell Leukaemia Research Laboratory at Southampton General Hospital.

"I am usually careful about the words I use with things like this but this discovery could truly revolutionise the way these antibody-based drugs work and it will save lives," telegraph.co.uk quoted Dr David Flavell as saying.

"And this doesn`t just apply to leukaemia, there is a really big possibility this can be used for many cancers too.

"This is a potentially very important discovery that could allow us to kill leukaemia cells in the patient much more effectively with much lower doses of immunotoxin.

"The challenge now is to establish how best to apply this laboratory discovery to the treatment of patients.

"We are all excited at the major advance this could represent for immunotoxin treatments for leukaemia," Flavell added.

Bureau Report