Research in the UK has found that a plant dismissed previously as not medically useful may be key to future chemotherapy treatment. The research team of Brunel University London’s Dr. Amanda Harvey, in collaboration with Prof. Alessandra Devoto at University of London and Prof. Nicholas Smirnoff at the University of Exeter, treated leaves from a plant known as thale cress with jasmonate, a substance discovered in jasmine that boosts plant responses to stress. After they incubated the treated leaves with breast cancer cells, they found that, not only did the cancer cells not grow, the other healthy cells were not impacted. They have made some additional discoveries in their research that will allow the development of further treatments. This means that recovery from breast cancer could be quicker with fewer side effects for patients given chemotherapy.

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