Seeds found in the fruit of the Blushwood Tree have been used to develop an experimental drug that has, so far, been used successfully on trials with melanoma, breast cancer and colon cancer.
Medical research institute QIMR Berghofer found a single injection significantly reduced the size of the tumour in more than 70% of cases, and the drug has been given the ethical go-ahead for human trials.
Dr Glen Boyle, a scientist at QIMR Berghofer, told ABC: “The compound kills the tumour cells directly, it cuts off the blood supply and it also activates the body’s own immune system to clean up the mess that’s left behind.”
This three-pronged attack could be used alongside the existing treatments, or instead of chemotherapy in cases where it has not been effective and for elderly patients.
However, the treatment has only been proven to work on surface tumours, and not on cancers that have already spread.
The foliage in question is found only on the Atherton Tables in the tropical far north regions of Queensland.
Let’s hope these modest yellow berries are ready for a little more responsibility.