Artesunate: From Anti-Malarial Drug to Potential Cancer Treatment, Insights Shared by Art of Healing Cancer

Business Wire India

Art of Healing Cancer, a globally renowned Precision and integrative oncology institution located in Gurgaon, underscores the possible benefits of incorporating the anti-malarial drug, Artesunate, into cancer treatments. This insight could introduce novel approaches to enhance the effectiveness of traditional cancer therapies.

Artesunate, derived from the natural compound artemisinin found in the sweet wormwood plant (Artemisia annua), is a water-soluble, semi-synthetic compound. It has long been a staple in the treatment of malaria, a disease caused by parasites transmitted through mosquito bites. Artesunate functions by targeting and disrupting the life cycle of malaria parasites, effectively eradicating them and preventing further infection.

International researchers have identified that the same action mechanism that allows Artesunate to combat malaria may also be effective in treating cancer. In both scenarios, the drug focuses on cells with high iron concentrations. Malaria parasites consume hemoglobin, thereby increasing the iron content within affected cells. Cancer cells, in comparison to healthy cells, also exhibit higher iron concentrations to facilitate their rapid growth and division.

The link between Artesunate and ferritin, a protein responsible for storing iron within cells, plays a pivotal role in this discovery. Elevated ferritin levels often correlate with poorer prognoses in cancer patients, as they support tumor cell growth and survival. Artesunate can reduce ferritin levels in cancer cells, thereby impeding their growth and potentially increasing their vulnerability to other treatment methods.

Clinical trials examining the role of Artesunate in cancer treatments have reported encouraging results. In a 2014 trial titled “A Randomised, Double Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study of Oral Artesunate Therapy for Colorectal Cancer”, researchers observed that during a median follow-up of 42 months, only one patient in the Artesunate group and six patients in the placebo group experienced recurrent colorectal cancer suggesting benefit of adding artesunate to cancer treatment.

Dr. Mandeep Singh, Chief Oncologist at Art of Healing Cancer, commented, “The concept of utilizing Artesunate in cancer treatment is captivating. By targeting increased iron concentrations in cancer cells, we may slow tumor growth and enhance patient outcomes. The results of clinical trials combining Artesunate with chemotherapy are particularly noteworthy.”

Additional research is necessary to fully understand the implications of using Artesunate in cancer therapy. Nonetheless, the current findings represent a significant stride in cancer treatment research. It should be specifically tried in refractory and advanced cancer with rising ferritin. Art of Healing Cancer remains committed to exploring cutting-edge approaches and is optimistic about Artesunate’s potential to improve the lives of cancer patients globally.

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