In an amazing study that may have profound effects on the quality of life of cancer patients, researchers from the University of Missouri claim that the unlikely pairing of green tea and gold offers a safer and more effective alternative to chemotherapy in the treatment of prostate cancer.
The study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences outlined how the tea and gold worked together to beat cancer in laboratory animals. Essentially, the tea compound attracted the cancer cells and the radioactive gold nanoparticles killed them.
Most importantly, the treatments can be delivered safely because the gold nanoparticles, which remain radioactive for only a few weeks, can deliver a death blow to the cancer cells without destroying the surround tissue and cells. Chemotherapy often has toxic side effects as the radioactive "seeds" attack the cancer cells and healthy cells alike. The treatments often wreak havoc on the rest of the body and lead to other health complications, including organ failure and death.
Senior researcher and study leader Kattesh Katti from the University of Missouri said, “The new gold/tea treatment would require doses that are thousands of times smaller than typical chemotherapy. We were able to reduce the tumor size by 70 to 80 percent.”
Despite these very promising initial findings, experts added that the gold/tea treatments are still many years away from clinical trials on humans.