Fungi may lead to cheaper cancer treatment

November 2015   Comments

A study by University of Guelph scientists into a kind of microbial “bandage” that protects yew trees from disease-causing fungi may be the key to new inexpensive anti-cancer drugs. Research published in Current Biology is the first to show how beneficial fungi living naturally in yew trees work as a combination bandage-immune system for the plant. Taxol is harvested from yew bark for use as a cancer-fighting drug, but efforts to make a synthetic version in the lab have been unsuccessful. The findings may help drug makers harness beneficial fungi to pump out more Taxol cheaply and easily to meet demand.

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