30 patients to test dandelion's cancer-killing potential

Thirty patients are being recruited to take part in a study looking at the anti-cancer abilities of dandelion root extract, taken from the common yellow yard weed.
According to researchers, test results done prior to the clinical trial showed that dandelion tea, containing dandelion root extract, killed cancer cells in a lab. (CBC)

Thirty patients are being recruited to take part in a study looking at the potentially cancer-killing abilities of dandelion root extract, taken from the common yellow yard weed.

The study will focus on patients with end stage blood related cancers including lymphoma and leukemia and take place at the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre.

According to researchers, test results done prior to the clinical trial showed that dandelion tea, containing dandelion root extract, killed cancer cells in a lab.

Dr. Siyaram Pandey is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Windsor and is the principal research investigator on the project. 

He said the dandelion extract has "good potential" to kill cancer cells.

"Our clinical team is recruiting the patients and the outcome of the clinical trial will be the first clinical validation," he said.

Dr. Pandey said it may take up to a year before results from the study are in.

The phase one clinical study, as it's called, is part of the Dandelion Root Project, aimed at showcasing scientific evidence for the safe and effective use of dandelion root extract and other natural health products for cancer therapy.

Phase one clinical trials were approved by Health Canada in 2012. Phase one trials do not reveal whether the substance being tested has a medicinal effect.

The goal of the trial is to set the right dose, Dr. Caroline Hamm, who submitted the application for the trial, previously told CBC.

The research team has also launched a new Windsor-based company, called Windsor Botanical Therapeutics.

The creation of a company was necessary in order to contract a licensed Health Canada drug manufacturer to create the dandelion extract for clinical use. 

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