A herb from the Middle East kills pancreatic cancer cells and can slow the cancer's progress, scientists have announced this week.
The herb, thymoquinone, an oil extract that is derived from the herbal seed Nigella sativa, has significantly reduced 67 per cent of pancreatic cancer tumours in one animal trial, researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have announced.
Nigella sativa seeds and oils have been used in traditional medicine in the Middle East and Asia for many hundreds of years, usually to treat immune and inflammatory diseases.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth deadliest cancer, and kills around 32,000 people in the USA every year. Only five per cent of sufferers live longer than a year after diagnosis.
(Source: AACR 100th annual meeting, Denver, April 20, 2009).