A rose plant is seen in a room at the accommodation where some patients and their family members stay while seeking medical treatments in Beijing, China, October 23, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Malaria drug is found to have capability to stop tumours from growing in rodents. Scientists suggest that its use on humans may yield similar effects seen on rodents.

An experiment done on rodents showed that a malaria drug stopped prostate cancer from growing. It will do the same in human beings, scientists believe. This, according to them, happens because of the presence of a substance called ailanthone. It blocks androgen receptor, denying tumours the fuel they need to grow. Clinical trials show that it may be used to treat aggressive forms of cancer that don’t yield to other treatment options.

Prostate cancer can be treated with hormone therapy. Certain tumours, however, create an abnormal form of androgen receptor that is not linked with hormones. This enables prostate cancer to resist available treatments and, therefore, difficult to treat.

Ailanthone, a component of the malaria drug in use today, is capable of blocking all forms of androgen receptor. Researchers found out that ailanthone interacts with the protein responsible for stability of androgen receptor, which causes tumours to degrade. With this capability, researchers said AIL is a promising lead compound suitable for further pharmaceutical development, quoted Mirror Online.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system responsible for producing semen that contains sperms. It is the size of a walnut and is located below the bladder, surrounding the upper part of the urinary tract.

Prostate cancer happens when cells in the prostate grows uncontrollably and spreads to other parts. However, it is a disease that spreads quite slowly. Majority of men with low-grade cancer of this kind live long without any complication. It can be aggressive and difficult to treat when it is in its advanced stage. Proper care and obedience to doctor’s orders, however, may help improve a patient's condition.