Triptolide is a diterpenoid epoxide found in the Thunder God Vine, Tripterygium wilfordii. It has in vitro and in vivo activities against mouse models of polycystic kidney disease and pancreatic cancer, but its physical properties limit its therapeutic potential. Consequently, a synthetic prodrug, minnelide, is being studied clinically instead.
A little-known plant with a truly bizarre name is now making headlines as a cancer killer, with the compound of the plant vanishing tumors in mice with pancreatic cancer. Known as the ‘thunder god vine’ or lei gong teng, the Chinese plant is actually integrated into Chinese medicine and has been used for ages in remedying a number of conditions including rheumatoid arthritis.
According to the new research out of the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center, the thunder god plant compound led to no signs of tumors after a 40 day period — even after discontinuing the treatment. Published in the journal Science Translational Medicine
Pancreas Cancer Meets the Thunder God
- Sunil R. Hingorani and
- John D. Potter
Sci Transl Med 17 October 2012 4:156ps21. DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3004956
- Rohit Chugh,et al
Sci Transl Med 17 October 2012 4:156ra139. DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3004334
and funded by the National Institutes of Health, even the scientists working on the project were stunned by the anti-cancer properties of the compound. Known to contain something known as triptolide, which has been identified as a cancer fighter in previous research, it is thought to be the key component that may be responsible for the anti-tumor capabilities.
And just like with numerous other powerful substances like turmeric and ginger, mainstream science is still slowly confirming what many traditional practitioners have known for their entire lives. This is, of course, due to the fact that there is simply no moneyfor major corporations in researching the healing powers of natural herbs and compounds such as the compound found in the thunder god vine. Turmeric and ginger, for example, have been found to be amazing anti-cancer substances that are virtually free compared to expensive and dangerous cancer drugs.
- Leuenroth, Stephanie (2007). “Triptolide is a traditional Chinese medicine-derived inhibitor of polycystic kidney disease”. PNAS104 (11): 4389-4394. doi:10.1073/pnas.0700499104. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- Chugh, Rohit (2012). “A Preclinical Evaluation of Minnelide as a Therapeutic Agent Against Pancreatic Cancer”. Science Translational Medicine4 (156): 156ra139. doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3004334. Retrieved 18 October 2012.