Modified ecstasy '100 times more effective at killing certain cancer cells'

22 August 2011

Certain cancer cells can be effectively combated through modified forms of ecstasy, new cancer treatment research from the universities of Birmingham and Western Australia has found.

Previous studies have indicated that ecstasy, the common term for MDMA, had cancer beating properties but patients would have to be exposed to lethal levels of the drug for them to have any affect, reports Medical News Today.

However, modified analogues, or compounds, of MDMA developed by scientists at the University of Western Australia were applied to leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma cancer cells and were found to kill the disease 100 times more effectively than unmodified ecstasy.

"By knowing this we can theoretically make even more potent analogues of MDMA and eventually reach a point where we will have in our drug cabinet the most potent form we could," explained lead author Professor John Gordon.

A recent paper presented to the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago suggested that widely used herbal supplements among patients could actually be having an adverse affect on cancer battling procedures such as chemotherapy treatment and radiotherapy.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

1 Wasik AM, Gandy MN, et al., "Enhancing the anti-lymphoma potential of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ('ecstasy') through iterative chemical redesign: mechanisms and pathways to cell death." Investigational New Drugs, Thursday August 18th 2011

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