The bark of the Amur cork tree (Phellodendron amurense) has traveled a centuries-long road with the healing arts. Now it is being put through its paces by science in the fight against pancreatic cancer, with the potential to make inroads against several more. UT Health Science Center researcher A. Pratap Kumar was already exploring the cork tree extract’s promise in treating prostate cancer when his team found that deadly pancreatic cancers share some similar development pathways with prostate tumors.
In a paper published today in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the researchers show that the extract blocks those pathways and inhibits the scarring that thwarts anti-cancer drugs. Dr. Jingjing Gong, currently pursuing post-doctoral studies at Yale University, conducted the study as a graduate student in Dr Kumar’s laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology.
“Fibrosis is a process of uncontrolled scarring around the tumor gland,” said Dr…
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