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Dollar-a-day bee compound halts tumour growth

Published: Mon 13 Oct 2008 02:19 PM
NEWS RELEASE
(Monday, 13 October
NZ firm’s dollar-a-day bee compound halts tumour growth in cancer trial patients
A New Zealand company’s bee-derived product which costs only a dollar a day has halted tumour growth in a group of cancer patients taking part in a trial by international researchers.
Progress in the trial has been reported by the research team in a peer-reviewed paper just published in Wiley InterScience’s Phytotherapy Research.
Manuka Health New Zealand chief executive Kerry Paul said today the company was delighted to hear the results after providing its Bio 30™ Propolis product for the research.
“As in all research, we need to take care not to make a blanket propolis-cures-cancer claim,” he said.
“However, the paper shows the researchers believe Bio 30 holds major promise in the fight against this type of tumour.”
Mr Paul said the research team was several months into a human trial testing Bio 30™ Propolis on 70 neurofibromatosis, melanoma and pancreatic cancer sufferers. The daily cost for adult treatment was only a dollar.
Te Awamutu-based Manuka Health specialises in producing a range of bee-based health products for general, digestive, joint and oral health, and wound dressings.
Manuka Health’s Bio30™ propolis liquid contains 30 mg/g of bioflavonoids, a natural substance which has anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic properties.
Propolis is a natural resin found in young tree buds. Bees collect propolis, mix it with their own enzymes and beeswax, and use it to seal the hive.
In the Phytotherapy Research paper, Melbourne-based cancer researcher Dr Hiroshi Maruta describes Bio 30 as “a very safe healthcare food supplement”.
“Although our trial is still at a very early stage (less than 12 months for NF1 patients and 6 months for NF2 and a few other cancer patients), so far the majority of these patients showed a positive outcome from Bio 30, namely no further growth of their tumours,” the paper says.
“It is our hope that this work will set the stage, a milestone for much more sophisticated and comprehensive clinical studies in the future for testing the effect of Bio 30 not only on the growth of NF tumours and PAK1-dependent formidable cancers such as pancreatic cancers, melanomas and multiple myeloma, but also several other PAK1-dependent diseases such as AIDS (HIV infection) and Fragile X mental retardation syndrome.”
The team says their findings suggest Bio 30 “might serve as the first effective and very safe NF therapeutic inexpensively available on the market”.
The team found Bio 30™ propolis produced by Manuka Health New Zealand “suppressed completely” human neurofibromatosis grafts on mice.
Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a set of genetic disorders which cause tumours to grow along various types of nerves, and can affect the development of non-nervous tissue such as bone and skin. In severe cases, the disorder affects nerves throughout the body including the brain and spinal cord.
NF affects one in 3000 people. The body processes which form NF tumours are responsible for about 70% of human cancers.
Dr Maruta led a German research team which last year identified propolis’ first known anti-cancer ingredient as caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a natural compound which is highly concentrated in the bee product.
Propolis was previously known to only have an indirect anti-cancer function by boosting the immune system.
Tests by the team found Bio 30 alone or in combination with CAPE blocked the spread of both NFI (malignant peripheral nerve sheath) and NF2 (Schwannoma) tumours.
After 63 days mice treated with Bio 30 alone had lost two original tumours and mice treated with Bio 30 and CAPE had lost four, while all control mice continued carrying tumours.
More information about this and other research is available online at http://www.manukahealth.co.nz/main.cfm?id=112
Information about Bio 30™ Propolis is at http://www.manukahealth.co.nz/main.cfm?id=17_id=8
ENDS

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