Pancreatic cancer is a killer of the worst kind.
It starts off silent, with no obvious symptoms. And by the time you realize something is wrong, it’s often far too late to beat it.
It’s an aggressive form of cancer, which moves fast. But even when it’s caught in its earlier stages, only 12 to 14 percent of people with the disease survive for five years.
In fact, over 44,300 people will die from pancreatic cancer this year alone.
Now if you’re having trouble wrapping your brain around that number I don’t blame you. It’s HUGE.
Try this. Picture 800 Greyhound buses filling up a gigantic parking lot.
Can you see it? Even with EVERY single seat filled, they couldn’t hold ALL of the people we’ll lose to this cancer this year alone.
Pancreatic cancer is on track to become the second leading cause of death in the United States within the next few years. And one of the biggest challenges doctors face is drug resistance.
Pancreatic cancer tumors are very dense. And that makes it tough for medications to get where they need to be.
So over time the drugs used to treat the tumors just don’t work well anymore. Which is why the findings of a recently published study are so exciting.
Happy Tree helps tackle drug resistance
According to researchers, a compound they’re calling FL118 appears to help tackle the drug resistance problem with pancreatic cancer. Which means it could soon be helping save THOUSANDS of lives every year.
FL118, or camptothecin, is an extract taken from the bark of the native Chinese Camptotheca acuminata or Happy Tree.
Traditional Chinese medicine healers have used the tree bark for over half a century to treat cancer and other ailments.
And now it appears folks in the West have caught on.
Pancreatic cancer tumors DESTROYED with FL118
For the new study, researchers tested the extract on pancreatic cancer cells, tumors, and eventually in lab animals.
And FL118 passed the tests with flying colors.
Each time the extract went on a search and destroy mission obliterating the cancerous cells and tumors.
Drug-resistant tumors were no match for FL118 either.
When combined with a standard chemotherapy treatment the extract helped destroy tumors which the drug alone had failed to defeat.
And just as importantly, it demolished the drug-resistant cancer cells without harming any nearby healthy ones. Which means it can SAFELY be used to stop tumors in their tracks and keep them from spreading.
The University of Maryland team hopes one day soon using FL118 will become standard practice. And that when combined with existing treatments it can help tackle drug-resistant pancreatic cancer.
FL118 isn’t on the market yet. But the developer plans to begin clinical trials soon.
So if you’re interested in the Happy Tree derived therapy go ahead and talk with your doctor. Joining one of these trials when they start may be possible.
And I’ll be sure to share any new developments about FL118 here in Healthier Talk.