Nanoparticles derived from tea leaves could be the key to a leap forward in treating lung cancer, scientists have “Accidentally” discovered.
They were amazed to discover the “Quantum dots” they manufactured destroyed 80% of the lung cancer cells they were applied to.
“Dr Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu, lead researcher on the project, explained:”The main reason we started looking at tea leaves is that chemically synthesised quantum dots cost between £250 and £500 per microgram, whereas organically-derived ones can be manufactured for £10 per microgram, and at the same time they don’t poison healthy cells surrounding the cancer.
“They had exceptional fluorescence emission for cancer cell bio-imaging, but the cherry on the cake was finding the cells were dying off and weren’t able to replicate themselves.”
According to the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, lung cancer is one of the four most common cancers in Wales and the commonest cancer worldwide.
Each year in Wales, lung cancer is responsible for more deaths than bowel and breast cancers combined.
About half of all people with lung cancer in Wales die from the disease within six months of diagnosis, almost three-quarters within a year.