Plants produce anticancer lead

A Chinese herbal remedy from celastracaea shrubs has been used for centuries to treat fevers, chills, joint pain and inflammation. Now, Ahmed Chadli of the Medical College of Georgia has demonstrated that an active extract named celestrol could have a role to play in cancer treatment by inactivating a protein required for tumor growth. Chadli and colleagues at the Mayo clinic have found celestrol to be a selective inhibitor of the P23 protein involved in enabling heat shock protein 90 (hsp90) to facilitate cancer growth. Earlier leads have not been so specific and interfere with normal biochemistry associated with P23 potentially causing severe side effects.