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Over 20,000 traditional medicine formulas have been registered but only three of them have been tested in laboratory to have the potential to be developed into medicines which are capable of blocking the spread of some cancers, according to the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine.
Dr Kiattiphum Wongrachit, the department director-general, said that the three drug formulas are N040, a northern traditional medicine formula which has the potential to stop the spread of cervical cancer; Benja-amarit formula which has the potential to stop liver cancer spread; and Wat Kampramong formula.
However, he maintained that all the three medince formulas were still in the stage of laboratorial tests and initial findings show they can stop the spread of cancerous cells in test tubes.
He said that tests on animals and humans were needed and yet to be undertaken.
As for N040 formula, Dr Kiattiphum said the formula was being tested in stage 4 to find out the substances from herbs which were found to be capable of stopping the spread of cervical cancer cells.
Tests in animals show satisfactory result and the substances are safe for the animals and, currently, tests are being undertaken on humans, said the doctor who stressed that no herbal medicine had been registered as cancer drug.
He suggested that cancer patients should resort to both modern medical treatment and alternative medicine treatment simultaneously and that they should seek consultation from doctors so that they would not miss the chance of getting proper treatment as cancer can be cured during the initial stage of the disease.
Dr Kiattiphum’s remark came after the Department of Medical Service announced on April 24 that the popular herbal medicine concocted by Mr Saengchai Haelerttrakul, alias Mor Saeng, cannot stop cancerous cells from spreading although it help boost the quality of life of cancer patients, according to the Public Health Ministry.