Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Horseradish enzyme may hold key


HORSERADISH is at the centre of one cancer research project in Canterbury.
This is not the concoction you might dollop on your Sunday roast, but an extract from the plant, which is a member of the brassica family.
The Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences study is looking at a possible new gene therapy approach to cancer treatment using the enzyme, horseradish peroxidase (pictured).
Researchers are observing whether the enzyme can activate the painkiller, paracetamol, into a compound that kills cells.
The school, which is part of the University of Otago, is doing other major trials into preventing, curing and treating cancer, especially leukaemia.

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