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Neem packs powerful punch against pancreatic cancer

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Washington : Being a medicinal plant, neem has been used for a healthy life since ages and now, a new study reveals that a natural extract derived from India’s neem tree could potentially be used to treat pancreatic cancer.

Biomedical scientists at Texas Tech University tested nimbolide, a compound found in neem leaves, against pancreatic cancer in cell lines and mice. The results revealed that nimbolide can stop pancreatic cancer’s growth and metastasis without harming normal, healthy cells.

The promise nimbolide has shown is amazing, and the specificity of the treatment towards cancer cells over normal cells is very intriguing, said Rajkumar Lakshmanaswamy.

In the study, Lakshmanaswamy and his lab observed that nimbolide was able to reduce the migration and invasion capabilities of pancreatic cancer cells by 70 percent; meaning the cancerous cells did not become aggressive and spread. And that’s promising, the researchers say.

Nimbolide treatments also induced cancer cell death, causing the size and number of pancreatic cancer cell colonies to drop by 80 percent. Nimbolide seems to attack pancreatic cancer from all angles, noted Lakshmanaswamy.

Lead author Ramadevi Subramani explained that many people in India actually eat neem and it doesn’t have harmful side effects, which suggests that using nimbolide for pancreatic cancer will not cause adverse effects like chemotherapy and radiation typically do.

The study appears in the journal Scientific Reports. (ANI)

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