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Medical agencies join hands to develop herbal medicines for cancer

An agreement has been signed by three medical bodies on their cooperation to research and develop cancer drugs from herbal ingredients.

Participating in the agreement signing ceremony were heads of the three agencies, which consist of the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Medical Services and the Government Pharmaceutical Organization.

Director-General of the Department of Medical Services Dr Suphan Srithamma pointed out that although chemotherapy is an effective treatment for cancer, the method has serious side effects and can also cause drug resistance. Many patients thus turn to herbal medicines as an alternative. However, herbal medicines are usually not supported by pharmaceutical tests, prompting a need for proper research and development, which would assure patients of the drugs’ effectiveness and safety.

According to Director of the National Cancer Institute Dr Weerawut Imsamran, his agency has drawn up research and development plans for the use of Thai herbal products in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Plants that have been tested and found to have anti-cancer qualities include neem, cassia, noni, turmeric and ginger.

Meanwhile, Government Pharmaceutical Organization Director Dr Nopporn Cheanklin deemed this cooperation of the three agencies as a good opportunity for them to effectively make use of Thai herbs. He expressed hope that it will pave the way for the production of new cancer medicines that are scientifically proven and tested.

NNT

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