A presentation made at the 17th International Prostate Cancer Update Conference in Vail, Colorado, has shown noscapine to be effective against prostate cancer.
Noscapine, a non-addictive derivative of opium, has been used worldwide since the 1950's as an anti-cough medication. Noscapine was originally proposed as an anti-cancer agent in the early 1960's. However major studies of its broad anti-cancer effects were only done in recent years.
The study in prostate cancer is the result of ongoing collaboration between the Prostate Cancer Research and Educational Foundation (PC-REF) and MedInsight Research Institute.
Dr. Israel Barken, Founder and Medical Director of the Prostate Cancer Research and Educational Foundation (PC-REF) in San Diego, California, has used noscapine for treating prostate cancer for over a decade. Encouraged by successful results, Dr. Barken's foundation funded a laboratory study to confirm noscapine's effectiveness and mode of action in treating prostate cancer.
"In our study noscapine administered orally to animals had a tumor inhibition rate of 60%, and reduced metastasis by just over 65%. Incredibly, this was achieved with no toxicity thus demonstrating noscapine's potential not only as an effective anti-cancer agent, but a very safe one too," says Dr. Barken.
Dr. Barken is now planning on facilitating clinical trials with noscapine in patients suffering from prostate cancer. He has also pioneered a web-based patient tracking system, which allows for trials to be carried out with ease, and at substantially reduced costs. This will allow global participation of patients, which will drastically cut the time necessary to complete the study.
Moshe Rogosnitzky, Director of Research at MedInsight Research Institute, is very encouraged by the findings. "Noscapine has been used for cough- suppression for close to half a century. Recent discoveries are pointing to its effectiveness in treating a broad variety of cancers."
"Additionally, Iranian scientists have shown it very effective in treating strokes. It is a drug that is readily available, and in many countries can be bought without a prescription. Noscapine is a safe low-cost option that has the potential to successfully fight several life-threatening diseases."