Compound extracted from tree can help fight leukemia

Kuala Lumpur: A new compound is showing promise against some forms of cancer like leukemia.

The compound comes from the Aglaia foveolata tree, found in Sarawak’s highlands, and has entered pre-clinical trials.

Scientists at the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC), which owns the intellectual property rights to the plant, say that the experiments found an extracted compound called Silvestrol offered benefits not found in other cancer-fighting drugs.

“First, it seems to inhibit leukaemia growth compared with controlled tests performed on mice. Second, the tests show that it seems to bypass drug resistance,” the Star Online quoted Dr Yeo Tiong Chia, senior research officer at the center, as saying.

Dr Yeo, a graduate of the Washington University in immunology, said he was confident of the compound’s potential.


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