While it is widely known that chemotherapy doesn’t work 97% of the time (in fact, people die from chemotherapy, not cancer), there are successful alternative treatments for cancer patients, lemon extract and baking soda destroy cancer cells without harming healthy tissues, and despite the fact that US National Cancer Institute has publicly admitted marijuana kills cancer cells, the largely preventable disease kills over 9 million people across the world annually.
Specifically, cancer claims the lives of more than half a million Americans every year — one of every four deaths in the United States is due to cancer, a purely man-made disease. In 2017, there will be an estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in the United States.
However, the deadly statistics may change if we pay attention to artemisinin – an Artemisia Annua (sweet wormwood) derivative, which in combination with iron can wipe out 98% of cancer cells in less than 16 hours with zero impact on the healthy cells.
Used in Chinese medicine to treat malaria, artemisinin and artemisinin-derived compounds have been shown to exhibit antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, anti-allergic, anti-fibrotic, anti-arrhythmic, immune-regulatory and contraceptive actions.
In a 2005 study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington, it was found that artemesinin killed iron-enriched breast cancer cells without negatively affecting the healthy cells. Alone, the researchers claimed, the herb caused a 28% reduction in breast cancer cells, but partnered with iron, the duo almost completely erased cancer. They concluded:
“By itself, artemisinin is about 100 times more selective in killing cancer cells as opposed to normal cells. In this study, the new artemisinin compound was 34,000 times more potent in killing the cancer cells as opposed to their normal cousins. So the tagging process appears to have greatly increased the potency of artemisinin’s cancer-killing properties.”
The original peer reviewed journal article can be found here, where the researchers conclude “artemisinin and artemisinin-tagged iron-carrying compounds could be developed into powerful anti-cancer drugs”. Here and here are other peer reviewed studies for those who wish to read more.
Then in 2012, researchers at the University of California found that artemisinin selectively attacked “bad” cells, and left “good” cells untouched. They noted:
“Artemisinin, a sesquiterpene phytolactone derived from Artemisia annua, is a potent antimalarial compound with promising anticancer properties, although the mechanism of its anticancer signaling is not well understood.
“…our results demonstrate that the artemisinin disruption of E2F1 transcription factor expression mediates the cell cycle arrest of human breast cancer cells and represents a critical transcriptional pathway by which artemisinin controls human reproductive cancer cell growth.”
Tu Youyou, a Chinese pharmaceutical chemist, was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering artemisinin and its treatment of malaria, which is regarded as a significant breakthrough in 20th century tropical medicine and saved millions of lives in South Asia, Africa, and South America.
In the past, artemisinin has been identified as a substance with a strong anti-cancer potential in various cancer cells such as:
- Prostate cancer http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26655404
- Renal cell carcinoma http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26426994
- Pancreatic cancer http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19690861
- Gastric cancer http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23958790
- Brain cancer http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25211298
- Liver cancer http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12776323
- Sarcoma http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24859473
- Colorectal cancer http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26137537
- Endometrial cancer http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24296733
- Oral squamous cell carcinoma http://ar.iiarjournals.org/content/24/4/2153.full.pdf
- Melanoma http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16273263
What makes artemisinin so effective? Cancer Treatments explains:
“Artemisinin can be very effective because it selectively affects tumor cells without harming normal cells. This is because artemisinin affects only cells that contain excessive amounts of iron which is the case for cancer cells. Indeed, via specific receptors cancer cells are demanding and depositing large amounts of Iron as they need it for cellular division. When coming in contact with iron, artemisinin triggers the release of intracellular free radicals that destroy [cancer] cells.”