Russian scientists are developing an anti-cancer drug with hogweed extract

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Scientists of N. P. Ogarev Mordovian State University have derived nanoparticles containing Sosnowsky’s hogweed extract, which in the future can become the basis for the creation of antitumor drugs. It is assumed that the product will be useful in the therapy of superficial malignant skin tumors (basal cell carcinoma and melanoma), bowel cancer and bladder cancer, Gazeta.Ru reports.

Hogweed extract contains furanocoumarins, which are biologically active compounds that can cause an increase in sensitivity to sunlight. Therefore, according to scientists, first the drug is injected intravenously in the form of a liposomal solution, and then the tumor has to be irradiated with ultraviolet light.

“When exposed to ultraviolet light, the compounds irreversibly bind to the DNA of tumor cells. As a result, the tumor cells lose their ability to divide and, as a result, the tumor dies by self-destruction,” explained an employee of the Laboratory of Pharmacokinetics and Targeted Pharmacotherapy of Ogarev Mordovia State University.

Earlier, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation announced plans to re-launch the production of the antiviral drug Flacoside, developed in 1979.