Arunachal`s anti-cancer yew trees under threat
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Last Updated: Friday, June 18, 2010, 13:04
  
New Delhi: Anti-cancer yew trees, Taxus, found in Arunanchal Pradesh are suffering from the cancer of over-exploitation and are under threat of disappearance in the absence of regulation, researchers point out.

Taxus or yews being a primary source of taxol used in the treatment of ovarian and breast cancers and kaposi's sarcoma (an AIDS related cancer) and over 20 such other indications is in huge demand in the pharma industry.

It has also its usage for coating of stents (anti-angiogenesis), Alzheimer, multiple-sclerosis and polycystic kidney disease.

According to an estimate a 20-year-old tree can yield up to 30 kg of leaves and 5 kg of bark which in turn produces 4 gm of taxol priced at Rs 3 lakh.

The demand has taken toll on this valuable natural resource leading to its rapid disappearance, researchers found during a survey last year in the West Kameng district of the North-eastern state, where maximum occurrences were reported.

"Merciless and mass exploitation has converted the area into a death valley of Taxus trees. Out of the 145 total plants located, 105 were found to be dead trees," say researchers Gibji Nimachow, JS Rawat and Oyi Dai from Rajiv Gandhi University in Itanagar in the latest edition of "Current Science."

The areas visited were Domkho, Morshing, Sanglem, Khelang, Phudung,Mandala, Dirang, Bomdila, New Bomdila and Palizi-Ramda where large-scale exploitation of Taxus plants has taken place during 1990s.

Stressing on its conservation for the welfare of the humankind, the study has stressed on systematic strategies through larger community awareness, community participation, suitable propagation techniques, in situ and ex situ trials, demonstration, financial and infrastructural assistance, adequate remuneration.

PTI


First Published: Friday, June 18, 2010, 13:04


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